Meet the cast of Against the Law

A mix of up-and-coming actors and experienced pros fill the line-up for the BBC's new Gay Britannia drama

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The one-off feature-length docu-drama Against the Law is part of the BBC’s Gay Britannia season. It follows the true story of gay journalist Peter Wildeblood, whose illicit love affair with another man was one of the turning points in the path to the legalisation of homosexuality. The consequent trial of Wildeblood, and his two friends, Lord Montagu and Michael Pitt-Rivers, sparked a shift in public opinion that paved the way for the partial decriminalisation over ten years later. Against the Law is interspersed with touching testimonials from elderly gay men who lived in fear of truly expressing themselves throughout the 1950s.

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Daniel Mays – Peter Wildeblood

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Who does he play?

Daniel Mays plays the shy romantic Peter Wildeblood, a gay journalist who is on the search for his first relationship after coming out as gay. He quickly falls into a love affair with RAF corporal Eddie McNally but the relationship unravels after he finds himself in Crown Court, standing accused of committing homosexual offences.

Where have I seen him before?

Mays is perhaps the most recognizable face on Against the Law and has had roles in several British TV series, including Ashes to Ashes, Doctor Who and Line of Duty. His portrayal of Ronnie Biggs in 2012s Mrs Biggs, saw him nominated for a National Television Award. He has also appeared in film having played the wheeling and dealing private Walker in the recent reboot of Dad’s Army, Yeti in The Firm and has a brief role in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as Tivik.

Richard Gadd – Eddie McNally

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Who does he play?

Richard Gadd plays Royal Air Force corporal Eddie McNally who begins a love affair with Peter Wildeblood whilst on leave from RAF Ely. Described by Peter as “confident, physical and a bit dim” Eddie is everything Peter isn’t.

Where have I seen him before?

The Scottish actor and comedian takes on one of his first major roles for TV in Against the Law. However you may have seen him on the comedy circuit. His daring comedy show, Monkey See Monkey Do, explored themes of modern masculinity and saw him win the 2016 Edinburgh Comedy Award.

Mark Edel Hunt – Edward Montagu

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Who does he play?

Mark Edel Hunt takes on the supporting role of Lord Montagu. He is one of Peter’s few friends and is the first to be arrested after a boy scout makes allegations against him. This leads to a police witch-hunt against those engaging in homosexual acts. The high profile nature of Lord Montagu’s arrest led to the naming of the court case as the Montagu trials which made front page news at the time.

Where have I seen him before?

Another relatively unknown actor; Mark Edel Hunt has had roles in Brideshead Revisited, Episodes and Call The Midwife. He made headlines in 2013 after calling out an audience member who made a homophobic comment during a play he was starring in.

Charles Creed-Miles – Super Intendant Jones

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Who does he play?

Charles Creed-Miles leads the investigation into the then-illegal homosexual acts as Super Intendant Jones. He follows a trail of love letters to the house of Peter Wildeblood and brings him to face court.

Where have I seen him before?

Charles Creed-Miles played the powerful racehorse kingpin, Billy Kimber, in Peaky Blinders. He also starred as Bill in the gritty criminal drama Wild Bill and played detective Terry Hicock in Harry Brown.

Richard Dillane – Prosecutor Roberts

Who does he play?

Richard Dillane plays Prosecutor Roberts who aims to bring the trio to apparent justice and presents the questionable evidence held against Wildeblood.

Where have I seen him before?

Dillane has had previous roles in Wolf Hall and Silent Witness, where he played DCI Michael Waite. You might also recognise him as British agent Peter Nicholls from Argo or as Merv Humphreys from Oranges and Sunshine.

Mark Gatiss – Dr Landers

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Who does he play?

Dr Landers, played by Mark Gatiss, conducts psychological treatment to “cure” those convicted of being gay. Part of his role involves the administration of aversion therapy through electric shock or chemically induced nausea. His character brings home the alarming fact that being gay was, not so long ago, considered a disease that could be cured.

Where have I seen him before?

You might recognise Mark Gatiss from the front cover of the latest issue of Radio Times which he has guest edited. On the screen he has played Mycroft in Sherlock, which he co-created, and wrote and starred in The League of Gentlemen. Gatiss is also curating Queers a series of eight short originals that cover a century of Gay Britain for the BBCs Gay Britannia season.

Josh Collins – Michael Pitt-Rivers

Who does he play?

Josh Collins plays Michael Pitt-Rivers, the third man to stand trial alongside Peter and Edward, charged with the same offences of engaging in homosexual acts.

Where have I seen him before?

Another relative newcomer, Josh Collins has previously had acting credits in the short war drama The River and Between the Lines.

Paul Keating – Fanny

Who does he play?

Paul Keating plays Fanny who Wildeblood first meets at a bar in Piccadilly whilst trying to chat up members of the RAF. They later meet again under very different circumstances while in prison.

Where have I seen him before?

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Keating has predominantly featured on the West End and has been nominated for Olivier awards twice for his roles in Peter Townsend’s Tommy and for his performance as Straight Dave in Closer to Heaven.