Meet the cast of The Duchess, Katherine Ryan’s new Netflix comedy

Everything you need to know about the cast of Katherine Ryan's brand new Netflix sitcom.

Katherine Ryan in The Duchess

Katherine Ryan’s sitcom debut, The Duchess, only landed on Netflix last week but it’s quickly shot to number one on the platform’s most-watched list for the week in the UK.


Starring Canadian comedian Ryan as fashionably disruptive single mum Katherine, The Duchess follows her as she embarks on a quest to get pregnant for a second time whilst deciding that all-important question: who should the father be?

Katherine finds herself choosing between a sperm donor, her long-suffering boyfriend Evan and even her sworn enemy – estranged ex and former boyband star Shep.

Featuring a strong supporting cast, the six-part series includes rising comic talents, like Steen Raskopoulos and Sophie Fletcher, plus more established actors like Smack the Pony’s Doon Mackichan and Peaky Blinders‘ Rory Keenan.

Here’s everything you need to know about the cast of The Duchess.

Katherine Ryan plays Katherine

Katherine Ryan in The Duchess

Who is Katherine? Katherine is a stylish, independent single mother living in London with her daughter Olive, who she shares with her greatest enemy – former boyband member Shep. She wants a second child, but is considering Shep as a possible sperm donor.

Where have I seen Katherine Ryan before? Canadian comedian Ryan frequently appears on various British panel shows, including Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Mock the Week, Would I Lie to You?, QI and Have I Got News for You. She presented Your Face or Mine? and The Fix alongside Jimmy Carr, and has acted in sitcoms Campus, Episodes and Badults.

Rory Keenan plays Shep

Rory Keenan

Who is Shep? Shep is a former musician, who rose to fame with the boyband True Say, but now lives a dishevelled life “off the grid” on a barge, drinking beer and indulging in conspiracy theories. He dated Katherine whilst she was a True Say groupie and now co-parents Olive alongside her.

Where have I seen Rory Keenan before? Irish actor Rory Keenan is best known for his roles in Peaky Blinders, War & Peace, Striking Out and Versailles, as well as films Grimsby and The Young Messiah.

Katy Byrne plays Olive

Katy Byrne

Who is Olive? Olive is the precocious young daughter of Katherine and Shep, who desperately wants another sibling and finds herself clashing with Katherine over her mother’s love life.

Where have I seen Katy Byrne before? The Duchess is Byrne’s first acting role to date.

Steen Raskopoulos plays Evan

Steen Raskopoulos

Who is Evan? Evan is Katherine’s long-term boyfriend, a dentist who she tends to keep at arm’s length. He wants to be more involved with Katherine and Olive, hoping to become a family unit in the near future.

Where have I seen Steen Raskopoulos before? Australian comedian Steen Raskopoulos has appeared in a number of series Down Under, such as This is Littleton, Utopia and Whose Line Is It Anyway, but in the UK, he’s acted in Netflix’s Feel Good and BBC Three sitcom Top Coppers.

Michelle de Swarte plays Bev

Michelle de Swarte

Who is Bev? Bev is Katherine’s best friend, with whom she runs a sculpture company with. Bev often acts as Katherine’s voice of reason, and is married, but finds herself experiencing problems in the bedroom with her husband.

Where have I seen Michelle de Swarte before? Actress and TV presenter Michelle de Swarte has presented ITV2’s The Fashion Show, BBC Three’s Free Speech, E4’s Dirty Digest and appeared on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here Now!.

Sophie Fletcher plays Jane

Sophie Fletcher

Who is Jane? Jane is the mum of a girl bullying Olive at school, who Katherine has run-ins with at the school gate. While their first encounter is somewhat hostile, Jane keeps persevering to be a friend of Katherine’s.

Where have I seen Sophie Fletcher before? Actress and comedian Sophie Fletcher has appeared in Catastrophe, Episodes, Derek, Trying Again, Siblings and Drifters.

Doon Mackichan plays Cheryl

Doon Mackichan

Who is Cheryl? Cheryl is a big True Say fan who becomes engaged to Shep very shortly after meeting him, and hopes to have a good relationship with Katherine and Olive.

Where have I seen Doon Mackichan before? Comedian and actress Doon Mackichan is best known for starring in sketch show Smack the Pony as well as Brass Eye, Knowing Me, Knowing You…with Alan Partridge and The Comic Strip Presents. She currently stars in Toast of London as Toast’s agent Jane Plough and recently appeared in Good Omens and Channel 4’s Pure.

Maya Jama plays Sandra

Maya Jama in The Duchess

Who is Sandra? Sandra is a work colleague of Evan’s at his dentistry.


Where have I seen Maya Jama before? TV and radio presenter Maya Jama is making her Netflix acting debut in The Duchess, and has previously presented a BBC Radio 1 show as well as Peter Crouch: Save Our Summer and The Circle.

The Duchess will launch on Netflix on Friday 11th September. Check out our lists of the best TV shows on Netflix and the best movies on Netflix, or see what else is on with our TV Guide.