As the title subtly suggests, BBC One’s latest thriller tells the story of a woman seduced by a much younger man with suspicious intentions.
Here’s everything you need to know about the characters and cast of Gold Digger…
Julia Ormond plays Julia Day
Who is Julia Day? A wealthy woman who finds herself alone on her 60th birthday, having recently split from her husband of 35 years after he had an affair with her best friend.
She arranges a fancy dinner in London with her three children to celebrate her milestone birthday, but these plans fall apart when all three of them cancel on her at the last minute. Upset and alone, she ventures out to the museum where she once worked as a cultivator and it’s there that she meets a mysterious stranger named Benjamin Greene.
Despite the fact that she’s 30 years older than him, a romance between the two quickly develops – although Benjamin’s true intentions remain unclear.
What else has Julia Ormond been in? Recently, she played the role of Ruth Wilcox in BBC One’s period drama Howard’s End, but has also appeared in Mad Men, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and cult fantasy series Witches of East End. She also starred as Gone With The Wind actress Vivien Leigh in 2011’s My Week With Marilyn, and won an Emmy award for her role in HBO’s original film Temple Grandin.
Ben Barnes plays Benjamin Greene
Who is Benjamin Greene? An enigmatic younger man who Julia meets in a museum. He is instantly taken with Julia and asks her out on a date which marks the beginning of a whirlwind romance.
However, he is coy about his past which leads Julia’s three children to be suspicious of his true identity and motivations.
What else has Ben Barnes been in? He broke out as the title character in the second Chronicles of Narnia film, Prince Caspian, reprising the role for its 2010 sequel Voyage of the Dawn Treader. More recently, he has starred as the villainous Jigsaw in Netflix’s Marvel comic book adaptation The Punisher, as well as Logan Delos on HBO’s big-budget sci-fi drama Westworld.
Sebastian Armesto plays Patrick Day
Who is Patrick Day? Julia’s eldest son who works in London for a successful law firm. He and his wife, Eimear (Yasmine Akram), have recently had a baby but the newborn has put a strain on their relationship and the spark between them seems to be fading.
He cancels on his mother’s dinner plans due to the demands of his busy job, where he’s frequently distracted by growing feelings for his assistant, Heidi (Katie Clarkson-Hill). However, he’s resentful of his father for being unfaithful and doesn’t want to treat his wife the same way.
What else has Sebastian Armesto been in? Armesto played DI Taramelli in the latest series of Silent Witness which aired on BBC One at the beginning of the year. He also appeared in the final series of ITV’s acclaimed crime drama Broadchurch.
Archie Renaux plays Leo Day
Who is Leo Day? Julia’s youngest son and a lazy, disinterested slacker. He completely forgets his mother’s birthday despite being the only of her three children to still live at home.
He has a job in a local pub but takes as few shifts as possible, opting instead to live off his mother’s handouts and good will. He’s selfish and generally distant with the rest of his family, but finds his mother’s relationship with a much younger man just as worrying as his siblings do. If only because he fears losing his inheritance.
What else has Archie Renaux been in? He’s a relative newcomer with few acting credits to his name, but has previously appeared in the second episode of Amazon Prime’s thriller series Hanna. Renaux may become more established next year, with roles in major projects like the Marvel Comics adaptation Morbius, and the upcoming Netflix fantasy series Shadow and Bone.
Jemima Rooper plays Della Day
Who is Della Day? Julia’s only daughter who can’t attend her mother’s birthday meal after a cancelled flight leaves her stranded abroad.
She is less sceptical about Benjamin than her siblings, pointing out that their mother is happy again after a difficult separation and suggesting they all be supportive. Although, her willingness to give love a chance might be partly influenced by her own recent experience with heartbreak…
What else has Jemima Rooper been in? She’s been popping up on a number of crime shows in the last few years, including Silent Witness, Father Brown and Death in Paradise. She also starred as the mythological being Medusa in Atlantis, which ran for two series on BBC One.
Alex Jennings plays Ted Day
Who is Ted Day? Julia’s ex-husband who cheated on her after 35 years of marriage with her best friend, Marsha.
Since the truth came out about his infidelity, Ted has avoided contact with Julia and focused solely on his new relationship with Marsha. His coldness towards his ex-wife is a point of contention, with Patrick being particularly angry about how poorly he has treated her.
What else has Alex Jennings been in? Jennings has a career spanning decades across theatre, film and television. Recently, he has starred alongside Hugh Grant in the Amazon Prime miniseries A Very English Scandal, as well as the third series of crime drama Unforgotten. His specialty seems to be playing royalty, having taken on the roles of Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor (The Crown), King Leopold I (Victoria) and Prince Charles (The Queen).
Nikki Amuka-Bird plays Marsha
Who is Marsha? Following the discovery of their affair, Marsha is now in a relationship with Ted but it killed the close friendship she once had with Julia. Marsha would like them to reconcile their differences, but Julia refuses to speak to her.
What else has Nikki Amuka-Bird been in? She had a leading role in the BBC’s pre-apocalypse drama Hard Sun, and played Detective Chief Inspector Erin Grey on Luther (starring Idris Elba). Most recently, she has been seen on Netflix in crime drama The Laundromat, directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Meryl Streep.
Julia McKenzie plays Hazel Day
BBC/Mainstreet Pictures/Laurence Cendrowicz
Who is Hazel Day? Hazel is Ted’s elderly mother who Julia still takes time to visit despite the breakdown of their marriage. She strongly disapproves of her son’s infidelity.
What else has Julia McKenzie been in? Acting since the mid-1960s, McKenzie has a prolific body of work behind her. As a two-time Olivier award winner, she is an accomplished theatre actress – however most people will recognise her as Miss Marple, a role she played from 2008-2013 in ITV’s adaptation of the Agatha Christie stories.
Gold Digger is on BBC One at 9pm on Tuesday, 12th November