Michael Gambon, Keeley Hawes and Rory Kinnear to star in JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy

Julia McKenzie and Monica Dolan will also appear in the BBC1 and HBO adaptation of the Harry Potter novelist's global bestseller

Michael Gambon, Keeley Hawes, Rory Kinnear and Julia McKenzie will star in BBC1’s adaptation of JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy.


Bafta Award-winning Gambon – seen most recently in Quirke – will play Howard Mollison, owner of the Pagford delicatessen, with McKenzie (Notes On A Scandal) playing his wife Shirley.

Hawes (Line of Duty) is to play Samantha Mollison opposite Rufus Jones (W1A) who will play her husband and Howard’s son, Miles. Kinnear (Southcliffe) will portray Barry Fairbrother with Keeley Forsyth (Coronation Street) playing Terri Weedon and newcomer Abigail Lawrie cast as her daughter, Krystal.

Bafta winner Monica Dolan (Appropriate Adult) will play Tess Wall alongside Simon McBurney (Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy) as her husband Colin. Also joining the production are Richard Glover (Sightseers) cast as Simon Price with Mari Critchley (In The Flesh) playing his wife Ruth and Michelle Austin (Secrets & Lies) portraying Kay Bawden.

Set against the backdrop of a seemingly idyllic English village named Pagford, the drama looks behind the pretty facade revealing a town at war: rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands and teachers at war with their pupils.

Already boasting a star-studded cast, the adaptation will release further casting details for Parminder, Vikram, Sukhvinder Jawanda, Gaia Bawden, and other key characters including Mary Fairbrother, Maureen Love, Lexie and Libby Mollison, and Andrew and Paul Price.


The miniseries – a co-production with US network HBO – will be in three parts adapted from Rowling’s global bestseller. Written by Sarah Phelps (The White Queen) and directed by Jonny Campbell (In the Flesh), filming will begin on 7 July in South West England.