BBC Rules of the Game’s Maxine Peake’s IVF journey with ‘soulmate’ partner

Workplace sexual politics and the #MeToo movement are the focus of Rules of the Game, ITV Anne star Maxine Peake’s brand new thriller series.

The multi-award-winning actress, 47, leads the cast of the new BBC drama as Sam, the straight-talking chief operating officer of a sportswear company.

But after a new HR director starts investigating the shocking death of an employee, Sam is forced to face the reality of her company’s toxic culture.

READ MORE: ITV’s Anne viewers call for star to win ‘every award’ as Hillsborough drama continues

Peake has become known for her challenging roles, including Myra Hindley in ITV’s critically acclaimed dramatisation of the Moors Murders and Nellie in Peterloo, a 2018 film based on the 1819 Peterloo Massacre in Manchester.

Luckily, her real life is much less dramatic, and she reportedly lives in Salford, Manchester with her long-term partner Pawlo Wintoniuk, a Ukrainian television art director.

Maxine lives with her long-term partner Pawlo in Salford, Manchester

The pair prefer to keep their personal lives out of the spotlight, but speaking to The Guardian in 2017, Peake described Wintoniuk as her “soulmate”.

Talking about their partnership, she said: “He’s better informed than I am, and he thinks I’m a lot better informed than I am. Which makes me laugh.”

The Anne and Dinnerladies star also revealed that they had tried to have children through several rounds of IVF, but that their attempts had been unsuccessful.

Maxine Peake played grieving mother and activist Anne Williams in ITV's recent Hillsborough disaster drama

Maxine Peake played grieving mother and activist Anne Williams in ITV’s recent Hillsborough disaster drama

Peake added that she subsequently began to realise that she wasn’t sure if she ever really wanted children, condemning those who question her lifestyle.

“Where does this cult of motherhood come from? We’ve gone so far back,” she continued.

“We shouldn’t still be asking, ‘Have you got children? Why’ve you not got children? Ooh, you must have children!’ Bog off, d’you know what I mean?”

Peake recently gained widespread praise for her portrayal of grieving mother and activist Anne Williams in ITV’s four-part Hillsborough disaster drama, Anne.

The series, which also starred Shetland’s Stephen Walters, was developed with the support of Anne Williams’ daughter Sara, who was just nine when her older brother Kevin died, aged 15.

Rules of the Game airs on Tuesday, January 11 at 9pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer

You can sign up for all the latest TV and Showbiz content here