The first season of Sex Education proved to be one of Netflix’s biggest triumphs of 2019 – and now the comedy is back for a second run.
Once again focusing on the burgeoning sexuality of a group of teenagers at Moordale Secondary School, season two picks up where the first left off, with more humour, awkward moments and heart-warming exchanges than ever.
The second instalment reunites us with all of the major characters from last time out – while a few new characters have been added in for good measure as well.
**Contains spoilers for Sex Education season one**
Asa Butterfield plays Otis Milburn
Asa Butterfield and Gillian Anderson in Netflix’s Sex Education (Netflix)
Who is Otis? A socially awkward teenager, when we met Otis in season one he was rather put off the idea of sex – due largely to the somewhat overbearing presence of his sex therapist mother – and was unable to masturbate. However, as the series progressed, thanks in part to the formation of a school sex clinic with outcast and cool-girl Maeve, he began to discover his own sexuality.
This time round we find him navigating his new relationship with Ola and his now rather strained friendship with Maeve – who it was revealed towards the end of season one has a crush on him.
What else has Asa Butterfield been in? Although still only 22, Butterfield has already racked up a wealth of acting experience across both film and TV. He made his major breakthrough at the age of just 10 as the lead in the boy In The Striped Pyjamas, with other credits including Hugo, Ender’s Game and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
Gillian Anderson plays Dr Jean F. Milburn
Who is Jean? Jean is Otis’ mother and a well-known sex therapist – who sometimes lacks knowledge of appropriate boundaries when it comes to interactions with her son. In the first season, she was non-committal when it came to relationships, having a series of one-night stands – but this time round she’s in a relationship with Jakob, a widowed Swedish handyman.
This season we also see her go on a one-woman mission to revolutionise the sex education classes at Moordale Secondary School, after she becomes aghast at the current standard of the lessons.
What else has Gillian Anderson been in? Anderson is easily the biggest name attached to Sex Education, and remains best known for her work as Scully in The X-Files during the 1990s. Among her other TV roles are parts in Hannibal and American Gods, while she’s set to play Margaret Thatcher in season four of The Crown.
Ncuti Gatwa plays Eric Effiong
Ncuti Gatwa, Sex Education (Netflix)
Who is Eric? Eric is Otis’ long-time best friend, and is one of few openly gay pupils at Moordale Secondary school. He comes from a religious Ghanaian family – and in series one he was seen to clash with his father, who was not entirely approving of his flamboyant nature.
Throughout series one, Eric is bullied by Adam Groff – but at the end of season one, with the pair in detention, a physical confrontation leads to sex between the pair. This time round it looks like Eric will have a new love interest.
What else has Ncuti Gatwa been in? Despite winning all sorts of plaudits for his scene stealing performance as Eric in season one, Gatwa still has relatively few credits to his names. He appeared in Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans and will star alongside Felicity Jones in upcoming film The Last Letter from Your Lover. It seems certain that we’ll see more from him in the future.
Emma Mackey plays Maeve Wiley
Sex Education Season 1 Jon Hall/Netflix
Who is Maeve? Bad girl Maeve is something of a social outcast at Moordale, and initially has little to do with any of her classmates. However, as the series progresses she joins forces with Otis to create the sex clinic and also begins a relationship with head boy Jackson.
She lives with her brother in a caravan park, while this season we see her clash with her estranged mother and attempt to work through her feelings for Otis.
What else has Emma Mackey been in? Prior to landing the role of Maeve, Mackey had no major television experience, but after her break-out role big things should be expected – and she is set to star in Kenneth Branagh’s next Agatha Christie adaptation Death on the Nile, where she will appear alongside huge names such as Annette Benning, Gal Gadot and Armie Hammer.
Connor Swindells plays Adam Groff
Who is Adam? Adam is the son of Moordale’s headmaster Mr Groff, and is something of a school bully – with Eric being a particular target. Towards the end of season one we discover that he has been repressing his homosexuality, while in a separate incident he has kicked out of the school and sent away to military school, where we find him at the start of season two.
What else has Connor Swindells been in? Sex Education is Swindells’ biggest role to date, but in the past he has appeared in one episode each of iTV Encore series Harlots, and Sky series Jamestown in addition to a role in the Gerard Butler film The Vanishing. He will have a role in the upcoming adaptation of Emma.
Kedar Williams-Stirling plays Jackson Marchetti
Who is Jackson? Jackson is one of the most popular pupils at Moordale – the school’s head boy and swimming champion. During series one he enlists the help of Otis in an attempt to begin a relationship with Maeve, and is initially successful, though the two have split by the end of season one.
What else has Kedar Williams-Stirling been in? Williams-Stirling has been acting since the age of 13, firs appearing in an episode of The Bill. His other credits include the films, Shank and Montana, and the CBBC show Wolfblood, in which he had a lead role.
Aimee Lou Wood plays Aimee Gibbs
Who is Aimee? Aimee is one of the popular girls at Moordale who strikes up a friendship with Maeve. Due to her wealthy background and large house, she is often the host of parties for her classmates.
What else has Aimee Lou Woods been in? While Sex Education is currently Wood’s only major on-screen acting credit, she is set to appear alongside Claire Foy and Benedict Cumberbatch in the upcoming biopic Louis Wain, directed by Giri/Haji star Will Sharpe. He has also appeared in an episode of Death in Paradise and Shakespeare themed drama series Will.
Tanya Reynolds plays Lily Iglehart
Who is Lily? Lily is a sex-obsessed pupil at Moordale who writes alien-based erotica and briefly tried to have sex with Otis in season one.
What else has Tanya Reynolds been in? Reynolds has appeared in one episode each of Outlander and Death in Paradise, as well as having a lead role in Sky One series Delicious. She will play Mrs. Elton in the upcoming film adaptation of Emma.
Patricia Allison plays Ola Nyman
Who is Ola? Ola is the daughter of handyman Jakub, and begins a relationship with Otis at the end of season one.
What else has Patricia Allison been in? In addition to appearing in Sex Education, Allison had a small role in BBC One’s 2019 adaptation of Les Misérables, while she also appeared in three episodes of anthology series Moving On last year.
Mikael Persbrandt plays Jakob Nyman
Who is Jakob? Jakob is a handyman from Sweden, and is the father of Ola. He is a widower, and during series one develops a relationship with Jean.
What else has Mikael Persbrandt been in? Persbrandt has an extensive list of on-screen credits in his native Sweden and has also had small roles in a couple of blockbuster films, including tow of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies and Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.
Samantha Spiro plays Maureen Groff
Who is Maureen? Maureen is the wife of Mr Groff and the mother of Adam. She is kind and caring, but is beginning to have doubts about the state of her marriage – with the spark having seemingly gone.
What else has Samantha Spiro been in? Spiro’s most high profile screen role has been in Game of Thrones, where she played Malessa Tarly, but she also has a hugely acclaimed stage career – twice winning the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical.
Alistair Petrie plays Mr Groff
Who is Mr Groff? Mr Groff is a strict disciplinarian and the headmaster at Moordale – he has a strained relationship with his son, Adam.
What else has Alistair Petrie been in? Petrie has appeared in a series of high-profile films, including Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Hellboy and Rush. He has been working in TV since 1993 with appearances in shows such as Sherlock, The Night Manager, Whitechapel and Utopia, in which he had a recurring role.
Jim Howick plays Mr Hendricks
Who is Mr Hendricks? Moordale’s science teacher and Swing band conductor, Mr Hendricks delivers some of the sex education classes at the school and is in a relationship with Miss Sands.
What else has Jim Howick been in? Howick is probably most easily recognised for his work in Horrible Histories, and in the BBC One sitcom Ghosts – which featured many of his co-stars from the hit CBBC show. Alongside five other Horrible Histories cast members he crated and starred in Sky One show Yonderland, while other acting credits include roles in Peep Show, Inside No. 9 and Broadchurch.
Rakhee Thakrar plays Miss Sands
Who is Miss Sands? An English teacher at the school, Miss Sands is a great admirer of Maeve, recognising her talent and supporting her accordingly.
What else has Rakhee Thakrar been in? Thakrar starred as Shabnam Masood on EastEnders from 2014-2016 and has also made appearances on Doctors, Holby City and Peep Show. In addition, she lent her voice to Big Finish’s Doctor Who: The Time War audio dramas.
Mimi Keene plays Ruby
Who is Ruby? One of Moordale’s popular girls, Ruby is the leader of the Untouchables group – and is generally its meanest member.
What else has Mimi Keene been in? Best known for playing Cindy Williams on EastEnders from 2013-2015, Keene has also appeared on Casualty and had a role in the 2019 biopic Tolkien.
Simone Ashley plays Olivia
Who is Olivia? Olivia is another member of the Untouchable clique and is close friends with Ruby and Anwar.
What else has Simone Ashley been in? Ashley has had minor roles on shows such as Broadchurch and Casualty, in addition to a very small role in the film Pokemon Detective Pikachu.
Chaneil Kular plays Anwar
Who is Anwar? The final member of the Untouchables, Anwar is one of the few openly gay characters at Moordale, alongside Eric.
What else has Chaneil Kular been in? Sex Education is Kular’s biggest role to date, but he’s also made brief appearances on Doctors and Amazon Prime Video series Informer.
JoJo Macari plays Kyle
Who is Kyle? Kyle is Aimee’s boyfriend and a member of the Moordale Quiz Heads team.
What else has JoJo Macari been in? In addition to Sex Education, Macari has appeared in TV shows such as Harlots, The Irregulars and Endeavor.
James Purefoy plays Remi Milburn
Who is Remi? Remi is Otis’ estranged father and the ex husband of Jean. He lives and works in America.
What else has James Purefoy been in? Purefoy’s most notable role is probably that of Mark Antony in HBO series rome, while he has also appeared in The Following and Altered Carbon.
Anne-Marie Duff plays Erin Wiley
Who is Erin? Joining the cast in season two, Erin is Maeve’s estranged mother, who attempts to reconnect with her daughter. She is a recovering alcoholic and has another, much younger daughter who is Maeve’s half-sister.
What else has Anne-Marie Duff been in? Duff was most recently seen starring in the BBC’s adaptation of His Dark Materials, where she played Ma Costa. She has amassed an impressive CV on stage and screen in the last three decades, with notable TV and film appearances including Shameless, From Darkness, Nowhere Boy and Suffragette.
Sami Outalbali plays Rahim
Who is Rahim? Frenchman Rahim is a new student at Moordale who turns heads when he arrives at the school.
What else has Sami Outablbali been in? This is Outablbali’s first appearance on an English language show, but he has appeared in a series of film and TV, projects in his native France including The Tuche Family, Grown Ups and Mortel.
George Robinson plays Isaac
Who is Isaac? Joining the cast for season two, Isaac is a new resident at the caravan park where Maeve resides, and makes waves when he moves in.
What else has George Robinson been in? This is by far Robinson’s biggest role to date – he put his studies at the University of Birmingham on hold to appear in the role.
Chinenye Ezeudu plays Viv
Who is Viv? Another new character for the second run, Viv is one of the school’s most intelligent pupils and top achievers, but is not quite so successful when it comes to finding love.
What else has Chinenye Ezeudu been in? Sex Education will be Ezeudu’s first major appearance, while she will also appear in the upcoming Netflix miniseries The Stranger.
Lino Facioli plays Dex
Who is Dex? Dex is the nerdy captain of the Moordale Quiz Heads team and also an expert when it comes to the Rubix cube.
What else has Lino Facioli been in? If you’re thinking this character looks a little bit familiar then you’re not mistaken, Facioli appeared on Game of Thrones as Robin Arryn, famous for still breastfeeding from his mother at an altogether inappropriate age. He also had a role in Russell Brand film Get Him To The Greek at the age of just 10.
Stephen Fry as Quiz Master
Stephen Fry (Getty)
Who is Quiz Master? This is not actually a named character but Fry turns up as the host of the inter-school quiz final – essentially playing a version of himself.
What else has Stephen Fry been in? Fry is a bonafide national treasure, and has starred in all manner of things from Blackadder to a recent episode of Doctor Who. He is also famous for, amongst all sorts of other things, narrating the Harry Potter audio books and hosting QI from 2003 to 2015.