BBC's latest drama, Boat Story, continues on BBC One this Sunday and is likely going to be another wild ride of an episode.


From the creators of The Tourist, the new series drops viewers into an anarchic crime story about two ordinary strangers who make one fateful decision.

Janet (Daisy Haggard) and Samuel (Paterson Joseph) are walking along the beach early one morning when they come across a shipwreck, with two bodies and an enormous stash of cocaine inside.

They steal the drugs, hoping to make a fortune from selling them on, not realising this reckless deed would incur the wrath of a formidable crime boss and put the authorities on their trail to boot.

Can they pull off the theft and keep their fragile lives intact? You'll have to tune in to episodes weekly or binge-watch it for yourself on BBC iPlayer to find out!

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Aside from Joseph and Haggard leading the cast, series star Craig Fairbrass told about his worries of doing some violent scenes in the opening episode of the series. But as he said: "But I thought to myself, from watching what Jack and Harry had done, I knew that it was going to be super stylised… in a way that it was part of the story."

For now, here's all you need to know about the star-studded Boat Story cast.

Boat Story cast list

Here's a round-up of all the main cast members in Boat Story – you can find out more about each character below.

  • Daisy Haggard plays Janet
  • Paterson Joseph plays Samuel
  • Tcheky Karyo plays The Tailor
  • Joanna Scanlan plays Pat
  • Craig Fairbrass plays Guy
  • Oliver Sheridan plays Alan
  • Ethan Lawrence plays Ben
  • Jonas Armstrong plays Arthur
  • Michele Austin plays Camilla
  • Cherie Gordon plays Anya
  • Adam Gillen plays Vinnie
  • Phil Daniels plays Craig

Daisy Haggard plays Janet

Janet (Daisy Haggard) wears a coat and wooly hat as she stands on a windswept beach
Daisy Haggard stars in Boat Story. BBC/Two Brothers/Matt Squire

Who is Janet? Janet is a woman going through a messy separation and a traumatic event at work, who is shocked to discover a shipment of cocaine washed up in her sleepy hometown. She is tempted by the prospect of changing her life forever by selling on the supply and keeping the proceeds.

What else has Daisy Haggard been in? Haggard is probably best known for her BBC comedy-drama Back to Life, which ran for two critically acclaimed seasons following a woman recently released from prison. More recently, she starred opposite Martin Freeman in the Sky comedy Breeders. Her earlier credits include Doctor Who, Episodes and Uncle.

Paterson Joseph plays Samuel

Samuel (Paterson Joseph) stands on a beach in a coat
Paterson Joseph stars in Boat Story. BBC/Two Brothers/Matt Squire

Who is Samuel? Samuel is a lawyer who moves his family halfway up the country under the guise of making a fresh start – although there could be more motivating the sudden departure. Not long after moving into their new home, he comes across an enormous stash of cocaine washed up on the local beach and hatches a plan with perfect stranger Janet to shift the load. But the scheme could cost them everything.

What else has Paterson Joseph been in? Fans of British comedy will know Joseph for his legendary turn as Alan Johnson on the Channel 4 sitcom Peep Show. Since then, he has taken more dramatic roles in the likes of Noughts + Crosses, Vigil and The Leftovers, as well as delving into sci-fi storytelling on cult favourite US series Timeless.

Tcheky Karyo plays The Tailor

The Tailor (Tcheky Karyo) sits in a car, wearing sunglasses and a fine suit
Tcheky Karyo stars in Boat Story. BBC/Two Brothers/Des Willie

Who is The Tailor? The Tailor is a brutal French crime boss, who is furious to learn that a shipment of cocaine he had sent to the UK has gone missing. He jets over to find out exactly what happened, setting him on a collision course with an unsuspecting Janet and Samuel.

What else has Tcheky Karyo been in? The actor has previously collaborated with Boat Story creators Jack and Harry Williams on their acclaimed crime dramas The Missing and Baptiste. His other recent credits include Netflix's Women at War, Apple's Liaison and Sky's ZeroZeroZero, while he's also known for film roles in 007: GoldenEye and Bad Boys.

Joanna Scanlan plays Pat

The Tailor (Tcheky Karyo) has a conversation with Pat (Joanna Scanlan)
(L-R) Tcheky Karyo and Joanna Scanlan star in Boat Story. BBC/Two Brothers/Matt Squire

Who is Pat? Pat is a local woman who is content living a quiet life. She has no desire to get mixed up in any drama or complicated relationships – but they might just be headed her way.

What else has Joanna Scanlan been in? Scanlan won a BAFTA in 2022 for her role in indie film After Love. Previously, she had made a name for herself with the likes of The Thick of It, Getting On and No Offence. She'll next be seen in the fourth season of Apple TV+ spy thriller Slow Horses.

Craig Fairbrass plays Guy

Guy (Craig Fairbrass) is pictured on a beach, looking towards the camera with a serious facial expression
Craig Fairbrass stars in Boat Story. BBC/Two Brothers/Matt Squire

Who is Guy? Guy is a hired muscle for The Tailor, who will stop at nothing to ensure his employer's demands are met.

What else has Craig Fairbrass been in? Fairbrass recently took a supporting role in Netflix's sweeping fantasy series One Piece, inspired by the anime of the same name. He is also known for starring in action franchise Rise of the Footsoldier and indie film Villain (from the director of Boiling Point). In the late '90s, he played Dan Sullivan on BBC soap EastEnders.

Oliver Sheridan plays Alan

Alan (Oliver Sheridan) sitting down in his mother's mobile home, clutching his backpack
Oliver Sheridan stars in Boat Story. BBC/Two Brothers/Matt Squire

Who is Alan? Alan is Janet's adoptive son, who she helped raise from infancy after getting into a relationship with his father. They have a very strong relationship which is put at risk by recent developments.

What else has Oliver Sheridan been in? Sheridan makes his screen debut with Boat Story.

Ethan Lawrence plays Ben

Ben (Ethan Lawrence) wearing police officer uniform, holding a handmade map splattered with blood
Ethan Lawrence stars in Boat Story. BBC/Two Brothers/Matt Squire

Who is Ben? Ben is a local police officer in the town of Applebury, who is somewhat oblivious to events going on around him and frequently disrespected by his colleagues as a result. Could he be about to prove himself?

What else has Ethan Lawrence been in? Lawrence is best known to viewers for his recurring role on Ricky Gervais comedy series After Life, where he played recorder player James. He has also appeared in BBC sitcom Bad Education.

Jonas Armstrong plays Arthur

Arthur (Jonas Armstrong) looks concerned in a dark, industrial setting
Jonas Armstrong stars in Boat Story BBC/Two Brothers/Matt Squire

Who is Arthur? Arthur is a police officer with a personal connection to the case of the stolen cocaine.

What else has Jonas Armstrong been in? Armstrong broke out in the role of Robin Hood on the BBC's family series of the same name. He went on to roles in Line of Duty, The Bay, Hollington Drive and Strike.

Michele Austin plays Camilla

Camilla (Michelle Austin) wears a pink coat and is photographed outside a large house
Michele Austin stars in Boat Story. BBC/Two Brothers/Des Willie

Who is Camilla? Camilla is Samuel's wife, who is not aware of the true reasons why he uprooted their life.

What else has Michele Austin been in? Viewers may recognise Austin from recent roles in This is Going to Hurt, Meet the Richardsons and The Other One.

Cherie Gordon plays Anya

Anya (Cherie Gordon) stands indoors wearing a coat
Cherie Gordon stars in Boat Story. BBC/Two Brothers/Des Willie

Who is Anya? Anya is the daughter of Samuel and Camilla. She is deaf and communicates primarily through sign language.

What else has Cherie Gordon been in? Gordon is making her screen debut with Boat Story.

Adam Gillen plays Vinnie

Vinnie (Adam Gillen) pictured in dark surroundings, with a brick wall behind him
Adam Gillen stars in Boat Story. BBC/Two Brothers/Matt Squire

Who is Vinnie? Vinnie is a local drug dealer, whose operation pales in comparison to that of The Tailor. But he could nevertheless be a useful contact for Samuel and Janet.

What else has Adam Gillen been in? Gillen is best known for playing Liam Conroy in Benidorm. He also had a recurring role in the first season of Fresh Meat.

Phil Daniels plays Craig

Craig (Phil Daniels) looks unimpressed at someone visiting him in prison
Phil Daniels stars in Boat Story. BBC/Two Brothers/Matt Squire

Who is Craig? Craig is a criminal who Samuel once represented, and who he hopes can offer some advice on starting a criminal enterprise.

What else has Phil Daniels been in? Earlier this year, Daniels made a memorable appearance in Inside No. 9 episode Mother's Ruin, where he played a bloodthirsty ex-gangster. Other credits include Channel 4's Partygate, Endeavour, I Hate Suzie and Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon.

Boat Story continues on BBC One at 9pm on Sunday 26th November 2023. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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