NEW TV show Flesh And Blood has a stellar cast including Essex's own Russell Tovey.

He has spoken about his intriguing character, and what drew him to the roles.

There have been many "family dramas" on our screens over the years.

So, what makes ITV's latest offering Flesh And Blood stand out?

Well, for one, "it's a constant cliff-hanger", according to star Tovey, 38.

He plays personal trainer and gambling addict Jake, one of three adult siblings at the heart of the story.

Tovey, who is from Billericay, said: "I think he's a good guy, but he's just a bit immature and petulant, I guess? And spoilt. And it's quite nice to play that.

"I don't think he's totally likeable. I'm trying to make him charming, but I think people are gonna be like, 'He's just a bit of an idiot'."

The four-part series also stars Imelda Staunton and Francesca Annis.

Very early on we learn there's been a tragic incident - we see someone being taken to hospital, but we don't know who it is - before the show delves into the events leading up to it.

What we do know from the first episode is that Jake and his two sisters, Helen and Natalie, are shocked when their recently widowed mother Vivien declares she's in love with a new man, GP Mark.

Southend Standard:

Tovey - who's starred in shows such as Years And Years, Him&Her, and Gavin And Stacey - explains how Jake's wife recently left him, taking their kids with her, after finding out he was in debt because of gambling.

He said: "So, it's about scrambling around, trying to pay her back, trying to prove himself again. And rebuild a life that he loved. Because he loves his wife.

"He's a bit broken-hearted. But he's determined. And there is light at the end of the tunnel, because his wife still loves him."

All the siblings' lives sound very complicated - they each have secrets.

"They don't really know each other," said Tovey.

"He's going through hell, one sister's having an affair, the other sister's completely neglecting her family and husband because of work and she's getting into trouble. And they don't really talk about it."

Does he think it's fair how distrusting they are of Mark when he enters their mum's life?

"I think it's entertaining, it's good TV," he responds enthusiastically. "Do I think it's fair? I think it's relatable.

"My parents are still together, which is wonderful. But most of my mates' parents are divorced and then the parent has moved on with someone else. And everyone's back is always up whenever anyone's making comparisons like, 'Well, they're not as good as mum.'"

Flesh And Blood airs on ITV over four consecutive nights from Monday.