Created by and starring Ricky Gervais, After Life proved to be as heart-wrenching as it was hilarious when it premiered on Netflix in March 2019.
Though the first season saw grieving widower Tony (Gervais) curb his rampage of rudeness, having discovered that everyone in the town of Tambury was dealing with a pain of their own, season two sees him still mourning his late wife, even as he works hard to be a better person.
Here’s everything you need to know about the cast and characters of After Life season two.
Ricky Gervais plays Tony
Who is Tony? Head of feature stories at local newspaper, the Tambury Gazette, Tony is trying his best not to wallow in grief and to be kind to those around him, but is still grieving the loss of his beloved wife Lisa.
Where have I seen Ricky Gervais before? Gervais is the multi-award winning co-creator, writer and star of groundbreaking BBC comedy The Office and its spin-off film David Brent: Life on the Road. He is also known for the sitcoms Extras and Derek, for film appearances in the Night at the Museum trilogy and Muppets Most Wanted and for his hugely popular podcast The Ricky Gervais Show.
Penelope Wilton plays Anne
Who is Anne? A widow and friend to Tony, who offers advice and words of comfort while dealing with her own grief.
Where have I seen Penelope Wilton before? Dame Penelope is best known for BBC sitcom Ever Decreasing Circles and for her role as Isobel Crawley in ITV’s Downton Abbey. She also played the recurring role of Harriet Jones in Doctor Who and played Barbara, mother of the title character, in Shaun of the Dead.
David Bradley plays Ray
Who is Ray? Tony’s father, who has dementia and lives in a nursing home.
Where have I seen David Bradley before? A well-respected actor of stage and screen, Bradley is known for playing Argus Filch in the Harry Potter film series and Walder Frey in Game of Thrones. Doctor Who fans might know him best for portraying William Hartnell in docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time and later the First Doctor (as originally portrayed by Hartnell), while he also won a BAFTA for his role in ITV’s Broadchurch.
Ashley Jensen plays Emma
Who is Emma? A nurse working at the nursing home who cares for Ray and has grown close to Tony.
Where have I seen Ashley Jensen before? Emmy-nominated for her previous role opposite Gervais in Extras, Jensen went on to appear in Ugly Betty and as the title character in comedy-drama Agatha Raisin.
Tom Basden plays Matt
Who is Matt? Tony’s mild-mannered brother-in-law and also his boss at the Tambury Gazette.
Where have I seen Tom Basden before? An actor, comedy writer and member of the sketch group Cowards, Basden has appeared in The Wrong Mans, W1A and Plebs. He previously worked with Gervais on David Brent: Life on the Road, playing Dan Harvey.
Tony Way plays Lenny
Who is Lenny? Tony’s friend and photographer at the Gazette, whom Tony affectionately teases.
Where have I seen Tony Way before? Way has played roles in TV comedy classics like Extras (with Gervais) and Black Books, but has also tackled dramatic roles; playing Plague in the 2011 film verison of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Dontos Hollard in Game of Thrones.
David Earl plays Brian
Who is Brian? A hoarder who wanted to appear in the Tambury Gazette and has now landed a job at the paper.
Where have I seen David Earl before? Earl is best known for his collaborations with Gervais, having played an obsessive fan of his character Andy Millman in Extras and later appearing as Kev in Derek.
Joe Wilkinson plays “Postman” Pat
Who is Pat? Tony’s overly familiar postman.
Where have I seen Joe Wilkinson before? A stand-up comedian and actor, Wilkinson has appeared on Live at the Apollo, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and Taskmaster and also played oddball neighbour Dan Perkins in the sitcom Him & Her. He played Cliff in two episodes of Gervais’s Derek.
Kerry Godliman plays Lisa
Who is Lisa? Tony’s beloved wife, who died from cancer before the series begins but features by way of home movies.
Where have I seen Kerry Godliman before? Godliman played care home manager Hannah in Gervais’s series Derek and also played smaller roles in Extras and Life’s Too Short. She has also appeared in ITV sitcom Bad Move, and is a stand-up comedian, winning the seventh series of Taskmaster.
Mandeep Dhillon plays Sandy
Who is Sandy? A good-natured aspiring journalist who joined the Tambury Gazette and shares an emotional bond with Tony.
Where have I seen Mandeep Dhillon before? Dhillon has featured in the BBC Three comedy TV series Some Girls and Fried, appeared alongside David Morrissey in BBC Two thriller The City and the City. She also has a strong sci-fi pedigree, having played Shireen in the Doctor Who episode Knock Knock, Lieutenant Garam in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Luna in Red Dwarf: The Promised Land.
Jo Hartley plays June
Who is June? Lenny’s girlfriend and mother to the socially awkward James.
Where have I seen Jo Hartley before? Making her debut with a small part in Shane Meadows film Dead Man’s Shoes, she later played Cynthia, Shaun’s mother, in This Is England (both the film and TV series spin-off). She has also appeared in TV series The Mimic and In My Skin and played Pauline Gray in David Brent: Life on the Road.
Roisin Conaty plays “Roxy”
Who is Roxy? Real name Daphne, “Roxy” is a sex worker who befriends Tony and, in season two, makes an unexpected connection with another character.
Where have I seen Roisin Conaty before? Conaty is an award-winning stand-up comedian and has appeared on a number of panel shows, as well as the first series of Taskmaster. Her acting roles include Jo in Channel 4 sitcom Man Down with Greg Davies and Cat in David Brent: Life on the Road, and she is also the writer and star of the E4 sitcom GameFace.
Diane Morgan plays Kath
Who is Kath? The Tambury Gazette’s head of advertising who has a passion for the paranormal.
Where have I seen Diane Morgan before? Known for her comedy alter-ego Philomena Cunk, Morgan has appeared in Phoenix Nights, Him & Her and Motherland. She also played David Brent’s PR guru in Life on the Road.
Tracy-Ann Oberman plays Rebecca
Who is Rebecca? Previously credited only as “Tony’s date”, Rebecca shared a disastrous blind date with Tony last season but returns in a larger role this time around.
Where have I seen Tracy-Ann Oberman before? Oberman played Dirty Den’s wife and murderer Chrissie Watts on EastEnders from 2004 to 2005 and has since appeared in Doctor Who, Toast of London and Friday Night Dinner, on which she recurs as Auntie Val.
Ethan Lawrence plays James
Who is James? June’s oddball son – he can play two recorders using only his nose.
Where have I seen Ethan Lawrence before? Lawrence is best known for playing Joe in BBC Three sitcom Bad Education and its spin-off movie.
Paul Kaye plays “Psychiatrist”
Who is “Psychiatrist”? As his title suggests, Kaye’s character is a psychiatrist… a particularly awful one. He treated Tony, sort of, in season one and returns in season two.
Where have I seen Paul Kaye before? Renowned for his alter-ego of shock interviewer Dennis Pennis, Kaye has gone on to appear in many notable comedies and dramas, including Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Three Girls, Year of the Rabbit and The Stranger. He notably played Thoros of Myr in HBO’s Game of Thrones.
Colin Hoult plays Ken
Colin Hoult performs on stage during Kings Place Festival 2012 (Andy Sheppard/Redferns via Getty Images)
Who is Ken? Head of the local amateur dramatics company and a wannabe showbiz superstar.
Where have I seen Colin Hoult before? Hoult has appeared in multiple episodes of Being Human, Cuckoo, Murder in Successville and Derek (in which he played Geoff) and also appeared on Russell Howard’s Good News and l Murray’s Multiple Personality Disorder
Peter Egan plays Paul
Peter Egan in Downton Abbey
Who is Paul? The owner of the Tambury Gazette.
Where have I seen Peter Egan before? Egan appeared opposite After Life co-star Penelope Wilton in Ever Decreasing Circles and also played Hugh “Shrimpie” MacClare, Marquess of Flintshire, in Downton Abbey (2012–15). He has also appeared in Unforgotten and Hold the Sunset.
Bill Ward plays Simon
Bill Ward attends the ITV Gala at London Palladium in 2015 (Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Who is Simon? A dashing new visitor to the nursing home – could he rival Tony for Emma’s affections?
Where have I seen Bill Ward before? A two-time soap superstar, Ward played Charlie Stubbs on Coronation Street from 2003 to 2007 and later James Barton on Emmerdale from 2013 to 2016.
Anti plays Brandy
Who is Brandy? Tony and Lisa’s dog.
Where have I seen Anti before? Anti previously appeared in the 2018 film In Fabric and also played the title role in short film Oscar’s Bell. She is a very good girl.
After Life season 2 will be available on Netflix from Friday, 24th April – check out our list of the best TV series on Netflix and see what else is on with our TV Guide