One of the most immediately noteworthy things about Greg Davies’ new crime scene comedy The Cleaner is the stellar list of guest stars that will be appearing throughout the series.
Helena Bonham Carter and David Mitchell are among the big names to be taking part – playing just some of the eccentric characters that crime scene cleaner Paul ‘Wicky’ Wickstead encounters as he performs his job.
Read on for everything you need to know about the cast of the series, including what characters each of the guest stars are playing.
Greg Davies plays Paul ‘Wicky’ Wickstead
Who is Wicky? Wicky is a state-certified cleaning technician with a very special field of work – he is a crime-scene cleaner responsible for the removal of any signs of death. During the course of his work, he stumbles across a range of eccentric characters – from the victim’s relatives, employers, neighbours and acquaintances to occasionally even the murderers themselves, and is always quick to stop for a chat with whichever strange people he encounters.
What else has Greg Davies been in? Davies is best known for his comedy work – whether that be performing stand-up or presenting hit panel show Taskmaster. Previous roles include Mr Gilbert in The Inbetweeners and Ken Thompson in Cuckoo, while he also created and starred in the Channel 4 series Man Down.
Helena Bonham Carter plays ‘The Widow’ (Episode 1)
Who is The Widow? Driven to wit’s end by her husband’s control-freak habits and model-building obsession, The Widow decides enough is enough and brutally kills off her other half. When she returns to the crime scene heavily armed, she finds Wicky cleaning up the mess and has no option but to hold him captive.
What else has Helena Bonham Carter been in? One of the most celebrated British actors of her generation, Bonham Carter’s film roles have included A Room with a View, Fight Club and numerous collaborations with her ex-husband Tim Burton. She also played Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter films and portrayed Princess Margaret in seasons three and four of The Crown, while recent film appearances include Oceans 8 and Enola Holmes.
David Mitchell plays ‘The Writer’ (Episode 2)
Who is The Author? Terrence Redford is a successful author hindered by a desperate case of writer’s block – not helped by all the commotion caused after his grandmother burnt to death in their living room. He looks down on Wicky and just wants to be left in peace to write his latest masterpiece – which he hopes will win him that long-awaited Booker prize.
What else has David Mitchell been in? A modern comedy legend, Mitchell is known for his work with Robert Webb on both their sketch show That Mitchell and Webb Look and the hugely acclaimed sitcom Peep Show. More recently he re-teamed with Webb for the sitcom Back and has played William Shakespeare on Ben Elton’s sitcom Upstart Crow and his West End spin-off. He is also a panel show regular, including serving as a team captain on Would I Lie To You,
Ruth Madeley plays ‘The Neighbour’ (Episode 3)
Who is The Neighbour? When Wicky is given the wrong key to the house of a recently dead man, he finds himself bonding with the deceased next-door neighbour – a hardline vegan who challenges him on his carnivorous ways.
What else has Ruth Madeley been in? Madeley is known for her role as Rosie Lyons in Russell T Davies’ acclaimed 2019 drama Years and Years, while other credits include recurring roles in The Rook, The Accident and The Watch.
Stephanie Cole plays ‘The Aristocrat’ (Episode 4)
Who is The Aristocrat? The wealthy owner of an opulent mansion – the scene of a failed burglary – this character enjoys pontificating to Wicky about her illustrious ancestors, collection of priceless antiques, and what the world is coming to. But she has a darker side too, and there could be more to this case than meets the eye.
What else has Stephanie Cole been in? Veteran actor Cole has a slew of credits to her names, including major roles in Tenko, Open All Hours and its spin-off Still Open All Hours, Waiting for God, Keeping Mum, Doc Martin and Cabin Pressure. She also teamed up with Greg Davies in his previous sitcom Man Down and played Sylvia Goodwin in Coronation Street from 2011 to 2013.
Layton Williams plays ‘The Influencer’ (Episode 5)
Who is The Influencer? Going by the name of ‘Home Alone Hosea’ this character is a 23-year-old social media influencer with millions of followers and an obsession with the 1980s – even if his depth of knowledge of the decade isn’t all that. Hosea is none too happy about Wicky’s clean up job – depriving him as it does of a great opportunity for a viral video of the crime scene.
What else has Layton Williams been in? Williams is perhaps best known for his starring role in the stage musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. He’s been acting since the age of 12, appearing in a range of West End productions such as Billy Elliot and Thriller-Live, while TV appearances include Beautiful People and Bad Education.
Jo Hartley plays ‘The One’ (Episode 6)
Who is The One? Maggie was Wicky’s first proper girlfriend – and so when she turns up at the holiday home at which he’s performing a cleanup operation he’s very surprised to see her. She’s since married and settled down and is surprised to see Wicky is still hanging around with the same people as he did all those years ago.
What else has Jo Hartley been in? Hartley has appeared in a range of TV series including This is England, The Mimic, Not Safe For Work, After Life, in My Skin and Bliss, while film work has included The Young Victoria, Eddie the Eagle and Slaughterhouse Rulez.
Other actors who appear in the series include Donald Sumpter (Game Of Thrones), Shobu Kapoor (Four Weddings And A Funeral), Zita Sattar (Casualty), Georgie Glen (The Crown, Call The Midwife), Bill Skinner (Ted Lasso) and Esmonde Cole (Still So Awkward).