Noughts and Crosses – What’s it about, who’s in the cast and when’s it on TV?

Malorie Blackman's dystopian Young Adult novel is being adapted for the screen by the BBC

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 10:00:01 on 08/11/2018 - Programme Name: Noughts & Crosses - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: ***PICTURE STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL:10:00 HRS THURSDAY, 08/11/2018***

The much anticipated adaptation of Malorie Blackman's award-winning young adult book series Noughts + Crosses has begun filming in South Africa for BBC One. Sephy Hadley (MASLI BADUZA), Callum McGregor (JACK ROWAN) - (C) Mammoth Screen - Photographer: Ilze Kitshoff.


Malorie Blackman’s bestselling Young Adult novel, Noughts and Crosses, is being adapted for the screen by BBC1, with filming set to start later this year.


Here’s everything we know about the series so far — keep checking in for further updates!

When is Noughts and Crosses on TV?

There’s no set airdate yet, but filming will begin later this year on the six-part series, with each episode running an hour long.

What’s the show about?

The book is set in a dystopian, alternate world where whites and blacks are segregated, and follows Sephy, a member of the ruling black class, the ‘Crosses’, and her childhood friend Callum, a ‘Nought’ and member of the white underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses.

“Against a background of prejudice, distrust and powerful rebellion mounting on the streets, a passionate romance builds between Sephy and Callum which will lead them both into terrible danger,” the BBC’s synopsis reads.

The adaptation was first announced in 2016, but delays have meant that there’s been a shake-up in the writing team. has launched a new campaign – Women’s Words – celebrating female screenwriters and asking why there aren’t more women’s voices on British TV

Read more:

Women's Words, BBC Pictures

Being Human creator and Doctor Who writer Toby Whithouse is taking over the reins from the project’s original screenwriters, Youngers writer Levi David Addai and Life on Mars co-creator Matthew Graham.

Whithouse will oversee the script-writing process with the help of Riviera’s Lydia Adetunji and Five By Five’s Nathaniel Price.

Charlotte Moore, Director, BBC Content, said: “Noughts and Crosses is the definitive book for a young adult audience and the perfect fit for BBC1. Superb, high octane compulsive storytelling set within an alternative history that explores really relevant themes about race, privilege and how we treat each other.”

Malorie Blackman said: “I am beyond thrilled that Noughts and Crosses will be dramatised by the BBC – it couldn’t have found a better home. Callum and Sephy seem to have meant a lot to readers over the years and I’m excited at the prospect of watching them on my TV!”

Who’s in the cast?

Peaky Blinders actor Jack Rowan will star as Callum, while newcomer Masali Baduza plays Sephy. You can also expect to see Paterson Joseph (Johnson from Peep Show) playing Sephy’s father and Home Secretary Kamal Hadley.

Elsewhere, Helen Baxendale (Emily from Friends and Rachel from Cold Feet) and Ian Hart (Professor Quirrell from Harry Potter) will play Callum’s parents Meggie and Ryan, while Josh Dylan (Young Bill from Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again) will play his older brother Jude.


Shaun Dingwall (Pete Tyler from Doctor Who) also plays Liberation Militia leader Dorn and Bonnie Mbuli (Wallander) plays Sephy’s mother Jasmine.