The opener to BBC One’s new near-future drama Years and Years stunned viewers last night (May 14) with scenes of nuclear war, conversations about transhumanism and faithful sex robots called Keith.
The show has brought together a star-studded cast, including Hollywood actress Emma Thompson and Anne Reid from Dinnerladies – but there’s one actor in the show no-one expected to see.
Eagle-eyed viewers have recognised Years and Years’ Tony as Noel Sullivan, one-fifth of ’00s pop group Hear’Say.
Gobsmacked telly fans rushed to Twitter, with one writing: “It’s only bloody Noel from Hear’Say!!!!! #YearsAndYears.”
Another said: “Everyone aged 35-50 watching #YearsAndYears on BBC One: Hmm, this is quite good… wait, is that Noel from Hear’Say??!!”
A third wrote: “OMG it’s Noel from Hear’Say! #YearsAndYears.”
Someone else tweeted: “Blimey, haven’t seen Noel Sullivan for ages!!! #YearsAndYears.”
A fifth said: “We don’t see enough of Noel Sullivan.”
It's only bloody Noel from Hear'Say!!!!! #YearsAndYears
— James (@_jamesianmorris) May 14, 2019
Everyone aged 35-50 watching #YearsAndYears on BBC One: Hmm, this is quite good… wait, is that Noel from Hear'say??!!
— Young Crone Wants Jsoosty Back (@ThrupennyBit) May 14, 2019
OMG it’s Noel from Hearsay! #YearsAndYears
— Louise Quarmby (@LoulaQ) May 14, 2019
Blimey, haven’t seen Noel Sullivan for ages!!! #YearsAndYears
— ManaboutLDN (@consumersupremo) May 14, 2019
We don’t see enough of Noel Sullivan. #YearsAndYears
— Patricia Ashwood 🦄 (@MrsAshwood) May 15, 2019
Noel put in a convincing performance as Tony, a sheepish single dad looking for love and it seemed he’d found it with wheelchair-bound mum Rosie (Ruth Madeley).
They chatted on a park bench and appeared to really hit it off, with Rosie cheekily telling him to ask her out and Tony inviting her round for a romantic meal at his place.
The two enjoyed a candle-lit dinner and Rosie learned more about Tony’s family, meeting his seemingly innocent house robot, Keith.
Rosie and Tony ended up in bed together and it seemed to be going well, but when Tony rummaged in his drawer for a condom, Rosie spotted a rather unusual sexual device and Tony admitted he gets “lonely”.
Gobsmacked, Rosie took it to the robot Keith and fitted it to the machine’s mouth, at which point the robot exclaimed: ” Orifice open!”
After the first episode of Years and Years aired, Noel took to Instagram to thank his fans for all their “lovely messages” about the show and post a snap of himself with his… friend, Keith.
View this post on Instagram
Thanks for your lovely messages about #yearsandyears @bbcone The whole team in Manchester were a dream and It was such a treat working with the beautiful @ruthmadeley. Thanks to @russelltdavies63 and @redproductionco for having me. And letting me have Keith. #yearsandyears #bbc #robotlove #welshboysdoitbest
He wrote alongside the pic: “Thanks for your lovely messages about #yearsandyears @bbcone.
“The whole team in Manchester were a dream and it was such a treat working with the beautiful @ruthmadeley. Thanks to @russelltdavies63 and @redproductionco for having me. And letting me have Keith.”
– Years and Years continues next Tuesday (May 21) on BBC One at 9pm
Were you surprised to see Noel in Years and Years? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know.