The third series of Sex Education returned on 17th September, with its ensemble cast delivering another set of hilarious and heartfelt performances.
Moordale's raunchy teens were forced to put away their iconic outfits in favour of school uniforms, a policy implemented by new headteacher Hope, but that didn't stop them from continuing their exploration of sex, relationships and identity.
Wondering who plays who and what else you've seen them in? Read on for everything you need to know about Sex Education's cast, including all the new faces that joined in series three.
Gillian Anderson plays Jean Milburn
Who is Jean? Otis’s sex therapist mother is mischievous, sexually liberated and laid back in many ways – but isn’t quite as hands off about parenting as she first appears. As with her patients, she wants to talk to her son about his sex life, but he is reluctant to share things with her.
Jean embarked on a relationship with handyman Jakob in season two, only for them to break up after she kissed ex-husband Remi – before finding out she was pregnant. Season three sees Jean and Jakob attempt to make things work as a family instead of co-parenting as they originally planned.
What else has Gillian Anderson starred in? Anderson is best known for leading the cast of The X Files between 1993 and 2018. Her prolific TV career has also included The Crown, The Fall, American Gods, War & Peace, Bleak House, Hannibal, Any Human Heart and many, many more.
- You can hear Sex Education’s Gillian Anderson and Jason Isaacs talking to RT’s Jane Garvey on the Radio Times Podcast
Asa Butterfield plays Otis Milburn
Who is Otis? Jean’s teenage son is a little shy and awkward, and definitely isn’t in with the cool kids at school – that is until he realises that his accidental expertise in sex could prove lucrative and make him popular.
Otis has a will-they-won't-they relationship with the bad-girl Maeve, but finally admits he loves her in a voicemail at the end of season two - a voicemail that is soon deleted by newcomer Isaac. The pair are no longer friends at the beginning of series three, with Otis dating cool girl Ruby and Maeve getting closer to Isaac.
What else has Otis starred in? The young actor has lead the cast of numerous films, including The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, The Space Between Us, Ender’s Game and Hugo. His forthcoming projects include drama Flux Gourmet with Gwendoline Christie, as well as the movie adaptation of Stephen Fry’s The Liar.
Ncuti Gatwa plays Eric Effiong
Who is Eric? Otis’s effervescent gay best friend Eric is always at his side, and is keen to get the pair of them in with the most popular kids in school.
Eric was involved in a love triangle with his former bully Adam and new boy Rahim in season two, eventually choosing Adam after he publicly declared his feelings for Eric at the school play. Season three sees them settle into their new relationship, which presents quite a few challenges when Adam struggles to talk about his feelings.
What else has Ncuti Gatwa starred in? Gatwa had just two TV roles before Sex Education– in the BBC shows Stonemouth and Bob Servant. He has since appeared in comedy Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans as well as romantic drama The Last Letter from Your Lover.
Emma Mackey plays Maeve Wiley
Who is Maeve? A bad-girl at school with a troublesome home life and money worries, Maeve realises how lucrative Otis’s sex expertise could be, and persuades him to set up the clinic with her.
In season two Maeve juggles her feelings for Otis and commitments to the Quiz Heads team with family issues when her mum Erin reappears with her young half-sister – prompting Maeve to report her mum to social services for using drugs again. Season three sees her struggle with the guilt of reporting her mum as she gets close to neighbour Isaac.
What else has Emma Mackey starred in? Sex Education was the UK actress's first TV role. She has since appeared in thriller The Winter Lake and Death on the Nile.
Kedar Williams-Stirling plays Jackson Marchetti
Who is Jackson? School jock Jackson has girls tripping over themselves to get his attention – but he’s only interested in one: Maeve. Season two sees Jackson getting over his breakup with Maeve, and struggling with his mental health – intentionally injuring himself during a panic attack due to the pressure of his swimming career.
The third series sees Jackson grapple with who he is now that he isn't the school's star athlete, and develop a bond with non-binary student Cal.
What else has Kedar Williams-Stirling starred in? You might have seen the young actor as Junior in the movie Shank, or in the TV shows Wolfblood and Will. He starred alongside Macaulay Culkin in the film Changeland, and also appeared in Steve McQueen anthology Small Axe.
Connor Swindells plays Adam Groff
Who is Adam? School bully Adam has a hard exterior but is more sensitive than he seems. He also happens to be the son of the former Moordale headmaster.
Season two sees his relationship with his father reach boiling point after leaving school and struggling with several career paths, and also accepting his sexuality and forming a relationship with Eric. He continues to struggle in season three, though he is trying to be better both at expressing his feelings and at school.
What else has Connor Swindells starred in? Swindells has appeared in the TV shows Harlots and Jamestown. He’s also been seen in the films The Vanishing, VS and Emma.
Aimee-Lou Wood plays Aimee Gibbs
Who is Amy? 'It' girl Aimee is determined to cling onto her status even if it means rejecting Adam, who despite being a doofus does mean well.
Aimee eventually chooses friendship over status, and season two sees her recovering from a traumatic sexual assault, with her recovery journey continuing into series three.
What else has Aimee-Lou Wood starred in? Aimee Lou-Wood has won a BAFTA for her role on Sex Education, and in addition to stage work has appeared in films Uncle Vanya, Hen and the upcoming The Electrical Life of Louis Wain.
Alistair Petrie plays Mr Groff
Who is Mr Groff? He is the headmaster of Moordale High and the incredibly strict father of Adam. He has a particularly bad time of it in season two, losing his job as headmaster as well as breaking up with his wife Maureen. He moves in with his brother in series three, but soon finds himself homeless and jobless, which leads him to seek the help of former colleague and Moordale's science teacher, Mr Hendricks.
What else has Alistair Petrie starred in? Petri’s prolific screen career has seen him appear in the TV series Deep State, The Terror, Undercover, The Night Manager and Utopia, as well as the movies Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Bank Job, Victor Frankenstein and Rush.
Tanya Reynolds plays Lily Iglehart
Who is Lily? Sex-obsessed pupil Lily is a member of swing band and enjoys writing alien-based erotica. She briefly tried to have sex with Otis in season one, before embarking on a relationship with her friend Ola in season two and continuing her sci-fi writer career in series three.
What else has Tanya Reynolds starred in? Reynolds had her breakthrough in Sky comedy-drama Delicious, and has also appeared in episodes of Outlander, Death in Paradise and Breeders. She joined many of her Sex Education co-stars in the 2020 film adaptation of Emma, playing Mrs. Elton.
Patricia Allison plays Ola Nyman
Who is Ola? Ola is the daughter of handyman Jakob, and begins a relationship with Otis at the end of season one. However, after breaking up with Otis in season two Ola comes to the realisation she is pansexual, and initiates a relationship with her friend Lily.
In the third series, Ola struggles to settle into her new home life after Jakob and her move in with Otis and Jean.
What else has Patricia Allison starred in? Sex Education was Allison's first major role, having previously had a string of guest appearances in BBC One’s 2019 adaptation of Les Misérables, Jimmy McGovern's Moving On, and BBC Four lockdown anthology Unprecedented.
Mikael Persbrandt plays Jakob Nyman
Who is Jakob? Swedish handyman Jakob is Ola's father, and begins a relationship with Jean in season one. However Jakob ends things in season two over concerns about her commitment – shortly before Jean discovers she is pregnant.
He's determined to make things work after he finds out about the pregnancy, but things are far from smooth sailing as the pair barely know each other.
What else has Mikael Persbrandt starred in? Persbrandt is known in Sweden for playing Gunvald Larsson in the Beck movies as well as the Oscar-winning film In a Better World, but has also starred in Hollywood blockbusters such as The Hobbit trilogy, Eurovision Song Contest: The Legend of Fire Saga and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.
Samantha Spiro plays Maureen Groff
Who is Maureen? The wife of Mr Groff and mother of Adam, Maureen breaks up with Mr Groff after turning to Jean for advice about her marriage.
What else has Samantha Spiro starred in? Spiro is best known for playing Barbara Windsor in stage play Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick as well as television films Cor, Blimey! and Babs, but also appeared in Game of Thrones, Doctor Who and Bad Education.
Jim Howick plays Mr Hendricks
Who is Mr Hendricks? Mr Hendricks is Moordale’s science teacher, but is also the Swing band conductor and organiser of the school play. He is also in a tentative relationship with Miss Sands, even going to Otis for help in season two.
He helps his former boss in series three, taking him in after his brother kicks him out.
What else has Jim Howick starred in? Howick is best known for co-creating, co-writing and co-starring in BBC sitcom Ghosts, which features several of his co-stars from CBBC series Horrible Histories. He also co-created Sky family fantasy Yonderland, and has also appeared in Peep Show, Inside No. 9 and Broadchurch.
Rakhee Thakrar plays Miss Sands
Who is Miss Sands? English teacher Miss Sands is one of the greatest supporters of Maeve, and is also in charge of the Quiz Heads. She encourages the girls of the school to think about what they have in common in a memorable season two episode.
In season three, she helps Adam "be better at school", as he puts it.
What else has Rakhee Thakrar starred in? Thakrar is best known for starring as Shabnam Masood on EastEnders from 2014-2016 and voicing Eighth Doctor companion Bliss in Big Finish’s Doctor Who: The Time War audio dramas.
Mimi Keene plays Ruby Matthews
Who is Ruby? One of Moordale’s popular girls, Ruby is a snooty member of the Untouchables group. However she unexpectedly sleeps with Otis in season two, prompting her to open up about being a young carer.
Their relationship continues in series three, where they from from casually hooking up to serious enough for Ruby to introduce Otis to her dad.
What else has Mimi Keene starred in? Keene is best known for playing Cindy Williams on EastEnders from 2013-2015, but has also appeared in Casualty, 2019 biopic Tolkien and the Castlevania: Lords of Shadow videogames.
Simone Ashley plays Olivia Hanan
Who is Olivia? Olivia is another member of the Untouchable clique, and despite a fallout in season one is close friends with Ruby. She is dating fellow student Malek in season two, and goes to Otis for sex advice.
What else has Simone Ashley starred in? Ashley has appeared in Broadchurch, Casualty and The Sister, in addition to a small role in the film Pokemon Detective Pikachu. However, she has nabbed the lead role for the upcoming second season of hit period drama Bridgerton.
Chaneil Kular plays Anwar
Who is Anwar? Anwar is one of the few openly gay characters at Moordale alongside Eric, and enjoys mocking others with Ruby and Olivia. He has a rocky relationship with Eric after being punched by him in season one, and is one of the many students who goes to Otis for advice in season two.
What else has Chaneil Kular starred in? Sex Education is Kular’s biggest role to date, but he has also appeared in Doctors, Amazon Prime Video series Informer and the BBC adaptation of Black Narcissus.
James Purefoy plays Remi Milburn
Who is Remi? Remi is Otis’ estranged father and Jean's ex-husband who lives in America. He is also a therapist and sex addict, and visits Otis in season two when he ends up kissing Jean.
What else has James Purefoy starred in? Purefoy’s most notable role is probably that of Mark Antony in HBO series Rome, but he has also appeared in The Following, Altered Carbon, Pennyworth and A Discovery of Witches.
Anne-Marie Duff plays Erin Wiley
Who is Erin? Erin is Maeve’s estranged mother, who returns in season two along with Maeve's young half-sister. However the two are not on speaking terms after Maeve rang social services after Erin started using drugs again, and she's still very much mad at Maeve in season three.
What else has Anne-Marie Duff starred in? Duff has recently appeared in His Dark Materials and The Salisbury Poisonings for the BBC, but has long boasted an impressive CV including appearances in Shameless, From Darkness, Nowhere Boy and Suffragette.
Sami Outalbali plays Rahim
Who is Rahim? Frenchman Rahim dated Eric in season two, until Eric broke up with him in favour of former bully Adam.
However, it looks like series three set up a potential love triangle when Rahim and Adam appeared to get close during a school trip.
What else has Sami Outablbali starred in? Sex Education was Outablbali’s first appearance on an English language show, but he has previously appeared in French films and TV shows such as The Tuche Family, Grown Ups and Mortel.
George Robinson plays Isaac
Who is Isaac? Isaac is a resident at the caravan park where Maeve resides, and soon falls for his neighbour –controversially deleting a voicemail on Maeve's phone containing a declaration of love from Otis.
In series three, he tells Maeve about the message just as the pair take things to the next level.
What else has George Robinson starred in? Sex Education was Robinson's screen debut, though he will soon be seen in crime drama Dalgliesh.
Chinenye Ezeudu plays Viv
Who is Viv? Clever student Viv is assigned as a tutor to Jackson, who in return teaches her a few things about friendship.
In series three, Viv takes over as head girl and is keen to impress new headteacher Hope.
What else has Chinenye Ezeudu starred in? Sex Education was Ezeudu’s first major role, but she has since appeared in Netflix miniseries The Stranger and can soon be seen in Michelle Yeoh fantasy The School for Good and Evil.
Lino Facioli plays Dex
Who is Dex? The nerdy captain of the Moordale Quiz Heads team, Dex is Viv's former crush who has quite the fascination with Rubix cubes – and whose naked incident in series three leads to the implementation of uniforms.
What else has Lino Facioli starred in? Falcioli is best known for a small but memorable role in Game of Thrones as Robin Arryn, and as a child star appeared in The Armstrong and Miller Show and Russell Brand comedy Get Him To The Greek.
Jemima Kirke plays Miss Hope Haddon
Who is Miss Haddon? She is the new headmistress at Moordale High who's keen to improve the school with a new uniform and a new attitude – which includes cleansing the minds of the students.
What else has Jemima Kirke starred in? Kirk is best known for starring as the adventurous Jessa Johansson in Lena Dunham comedy Girls, but has also appeared in indie film Tiny Furniture and Netflix psychological drama Maniac as well as music videos for the likes of Mick Jagger and Zayn Malik.
Jason Isaacs plays Peter Groff
Who is Peter Groff? As the surname suggests, Peter Groff is the more successful – and immodest – older brother of the now-disgraced former headteacher Mr Groff.
What else has Jason Isaacs starred in? Isaacs will forever be known to a generation as Mr. Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, but has more recently appeared in cult drama The OA and Star Trek: Discovery.
Dua Saleh plays Cal
Who is Cal? Non-binary student Cal clashes almost instantly with new headteacher Miss Haddon. They also form a bond with Jackson.
What else has Dua Saleh starred in? After theatre acting in Minneapolis, Dua Saleh will be making their television debut in Sex Education, having previously focused on singing and songwriting and releasing the acclaimed albums Nūr and Rosetta.