Keeley Hawes leads the cast of ITV’s Finding Alice as – you guessed it – a character called Alice. But the show features a whole load of other famous faces, from Nigel Havers to Joanna Lumley, plus a handful of very talented actors who are relative newcomers to our screens.
The drama, which we’ve given four stars in our Finding Alice review, is an exploration of grief. The story begins on the day Alice moves into her new home with husband Harry and daughter Charlotte – but tragedy strikes when Harry is found dead at the bottom of the stairs. Alice is forced to embark on a journey of loss and discovery.
Here are the characters we meet in the ITV drama, and the actors who play them.
Keeley Hawes plays Alice Dillon
Who is Alice Dillon? As ITV puts it: “Alice has never been a very practical person. She’s brought her daughter Charlotte up to believe that life is beautiful and to be enjoyed; the boring bits like money and house maintenance will take care of themselves. Except now she’s not so sure. In recent years she’s been working part-time at a bridal shop. Alice is the first to admit that she’s not great at the job – she’s too honest, chaotic and interested in her clients to keep it ‘professional’ – but the people skills will come in handy when Harry’s sudden death kicks up a storm of secrets, debt and suspicion, which Alice will be forced to confront in order to survive.”
What else has Keeley Hawes been in? She teamed up with screenwriter Jed Mercurio for major roles in hit TV shows Bodyguard (playing Home Secretary Julia Montague) and Line of Duty (playing DI Lindsay Denton). Recent years have also seen Keeley Hawes star as Dorothy Wick in Mrs Wilson, Priscilla Garrick in Traitors, Gemma Webster in The Missing, Louisa Durrell in The Durrells, DCI Caroline Goode in Honour, Kathleen Shaw in Summer of Rockets, and Lydia in Year of the Rabbit. (Yes, she’s been very busy.) Other TV shows have included The Casual Vacancy, The Tunnel, Doctor Who (as Ms Delphox), Ashes to Ashes, Spooks, Mutual Friends, and Tipping the Velvet. She also plays Valerie Tozer in upcoming drama It’s A Sin.
Jason Merrells plays Harry Walsh
Who is Harry Walsh? Described as “Mr Charisma” and as “Alice’s rock” who was “passionate and sure of himself”, Harry was the family’s money-maker; he was a successful builder who had moved into property development, and everything appeared to be going well – to the point where he had just designed and built a fancy new “smart home” for Alice and their daughter, Charlotte. Unfortunately, after his untimely death, it emerges that Harry was not the financial success he seemed to be.
What else has Jason Merrells been in? Having started out as Matt Hawley in Casualty in the 90s, Jason Merrells has since starred as Martin Leach in Clocking Off, Gavin Ferraday in Cutting It, Jack Dowland in Lark Rise to Candleford, Jack Rimmer in Waterloo Road, and Declan Macey in Emmerdale. Recent roles have included David in Safe House, and Sir Charles Fraith in Agatha Raisin – as well as appearances in Endeavour, Jesus: His Life, and Midsomer Murders.
Isabella Pappas plays Charlotte Walsh
Who is Charlotte Walsh? Alice and Harry’s only daughter, who is smart and quite practical (at least, more practical than her mother). ITV tells us: “With Harry gone and Alice struggling to cope, Charlotte is forced to bottle up her grief and be the responsible one. But with Charlotte busy looking out for Alice, who’s looking after Charlotte?”
What else has Isabella Pappas been in? She played Sadie Waingrow in the TV series Paranoid, and has also been in Home and Almost Never. For her role in the play The Nether, the young actress was nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the 2015 Olivier Awards.
Joanna Lumley plays Sarah Dillon
Who is Sarah Dillon? Alice’s mother, who is overly blunt, very prickly, and sometimes cruel (the “I’m only being honest” type). She was once a glamorous model who had big dreams of fame and fortune, but she settled down with law student Roger – and soon found herself in a lacklustre marriage that didn’t match up to her vision of the future.
What else has Joanna Lumley been in? The actress is most famous for her starring role as Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous. Her many other acting credits include Paddington 2, Me Before You, Gangsta Granny (as the Queen), James and the Giant Peach, The New Avengers, Corpse Bridge, and The Wolf of Wall Street. Aside from that, she’s also become a go-to for travel documentaries (see: Joanna Lumley’s India, Joanna Lumley’s Silk Road Adventure, Joanna Lumley’s Japan, & co). And aside from that, she’s a high-profile activist and supporter of the Gurka Justice Campaign.
Nigel Havers plays Roger Dillon
Who is Roger Dillon? Alice’s father and Sarah’s husband, described as “mild and needy”. He puts up with his wife’s insulting behaviour and has come to believe he really is a loser, as she says. Roger is a small-town solicitor, and so Alice turns to him for legal advice after Harry’s death.
What else has Nigel Havers been in? Back in 1981 he starred as Lord Andrew Lindsay in Chariots of Fire. You may also have seen him as Dr Rawlins in Empire of the Sun, or as Ronny in A Passage to India. He’s also starred in shows including Don’t Wait Up, Coronation Street, Benidorm, and A Little Princess.
Gemma Jones plays Minnie Walsh
Who is Minnie Walsh? Harry’s mother. She is sweet and a people-pleaser, but in the aftermath of her son’s death (and in the middle of her own grief) she finds herself struggling to please everyone – as her husband butts heads with their daughter-in-law Alice over the mess that Harry left behind.
What else has Gemma Jones been in? Gemma Jones has enjoyed a long and distinguished career, playing roles including Mrs Dashwood in 1995’s Sense and Sensibility, Madam Pomfrey in the Harry Potter films, Connie James in Spooks, and Bridget’s mum in the Bridget Jones movies. In recent years she’s appeared in The Crown (playing Penelope Carter), Cold Feet (as Heather Childs), Gentleman Jack (as Aunt Anne Lister), Rocketman (as Ivy), and Unforgotten (as Claire Slater).
Kenneth Cranham plays Gerry Walsh
Who is Gerry Walsh? Harry’s father. “Although Gerry might appear to be a stubborn pragmatist, in truth he’s neurotic, terrified of history repeating itself,” ITV says. “Just like Harry, Gerry tried to move from being a builder to a developer. But when his business crashed and burned, it left Gerry and his family in a difficult financial bind. Now Gerry’s determined to put a brave face on his grief and protect himself from debt at any cost.”
What else has Kenneth Cranham been in? The actor has almost 200 screen credits to his name, dating back to 1964. Among those many roles, he’s played Pompey Magnus in the TV miniseries Rome, Jimmy Price in Layer Cake, Edmund in The Good Karma Hospital, Brian Reader in Hatton Garden, and Bishop Morton in The White Princess. In 2016 he won an Olivier Award for his lead role in the play The Father.
Sharon Rooney plays Nicola Walsh
Who is Nicola Walsh? Harry’s younger sister, described as “a mass of uncontrolled energy with a frustrating habit of blurting out the wrong thing at the wrong time.” She works hard to be the “fun one” in the wake of a series of disasters, but her brother’s death sends her spinning and forces her to reevaluate her life and her relationship with her parents.
What else has Sharon Rooney been in? The Scottish actress had her breakthrough role playing Rae Earl in My Mad Fat Diary. Since then, she’s played Dawn in Brief Encounters, Sophie in Two Doors Down, Kiki Stokes in The Tunnel, Faye Caddy in No Offence, Miss Atlantis in Dumbo, and Becky in The Capture.
Rhashan Stone plays Nathan Johnston
Who is Nathan Johnston? A mortuary worker, who Alice meets when she goes to say her final goodbyes to Harry. “Whilst she’s initially shocked by his blunt attitude towards death, Alice soon realises that Nathan has a deeply personal understanding of how it feels to lose someone you love. Nathan has made it his mission to make death less destructive for others, and soon becomes Alice’s ‘Death Guru’. As their friendship develops, Nathan turns out to be a tower of strength for Alice in her time of need.”
What else has Rhashan Stone been in? We’ve seen him as DI Laurence Breeze in the hit Welsh drama Keeping Faith, as Major Oliver Sinclair in Strike Back, as various characters in Horrible Histories, and as Tom Gorman in Jed Mercurio’s TV series Bodies. Other screen credits include Black Mirror, The Smoke, 101 Dalmatian Street, Delicious, Carters Get Rich, Agatha Raisin, Mutual Friends, and Apple Tree Yard. Rhashan Stone is also a stage actor, performing with the Royal Shakespeare Company and in musicals.
Ayesha Dharker plays Tanvi Lal
Who is Tanvi Lal? Someone Harry knew through work. As ITV tells us, “Tanvi is smart, tough and practical. She too comes from a family of builder- developers and Tanvi has more to prove to her family than most. Only recently back in town, Tanvi is fiercely protective of her private life and prefers to keep her cards close to her chest. Although she claims to be an accountant, it’s clear that Tanvi knows more about Harry’s business than she’ll admit to Alice. Tanvi may think she’s in control of the situation but underestimating Alice could be her downfall.”
What else has Ayesha Dharker been in? The actress played Queen Jimillia (Queen of Naboo) in Star Wars: Episode II. She’s appeared in the musical Bombay Dreams, and in TV shows and movies including The Terrorist, Outsourced, Doctor Who (as Solana Mercurio), Holby City (as Nina Karnik), The Indian Doctor, and Coronation Street (as Tara Mandal).
Dominique Moore plays Yasmina
Who is Yasmina? Harry’s assistant, who is “kind and genuine but not to be underestimated”. After his death, she finds herself providing support to (and becoming friends with) Alice and Charlotte, while also dealing with someone new in charge.
What else has Dominique Moore been in? She’s been in A Confession, the Four Weddings and a Funeral reboot, Horrible Histories (both the movie and the TV show), Tracey Ullman’s Show, Murder in Successville, and Hotel Trubble. Dominique Moore is also an experienced voice actress: she is the voice of Ruth in Thomas & Friends, Lulu in Disney’s Sadie Sparks, and Flo in the TV series Floogals.
Graeme Hawley plays Graham Napely
Who is Graham Napely? A member of Nathan’s bereavement group. He’s an accountant who lost his wife a year ago, and he’s been learning how to cope as a single parent and do his best for his young son. “Graham is good looking, single and keen to get back on the dating scene,” says ITV. “He soon develops a soft spot for Alice, but as Graham’s feelings grow stronger, he becomes less caring, more insistent, and runs the risk of pushing Alice away altogether.”
What else has Graeme Hawley been in? The actor starred as John Stape in Coronation Street. Since he left the soap in 2011, he’s starred as Nigel Hughes in Home Fires, Martin Paradise in Love & Marriage, Dan in National Treasure, and Niall Devlin in Peaky Blinders. You may also have recently seen him in Father Brown, Honour, and Benidorm.
Daniel Laurie plays Zach
Who is Zach? A member of Nathan’s bereavement and group.
What else has Daniel Laurie been in? Daniel Laurie stars as Reggie Jackson in Call the Midwife, a role he’s played since 2017. He also played Jamie in the TV series Stella, and appeared in Vera (as Adam Beecher) and The Dark Tower (as Sheemie).
George Webster plays George
Who is George? We don’t want to give anything away!
What else has George Webster been in? He starred as Milo in Tripped, as Arden in My Name Is Emily, and as William of Orange in the period drama Versailles. Further credits include Genius, Industry, Us, and Further Ed.
Amanda Wilkin plays Leanne
Who is Leanne? A member of the bereavement group.
What else has Amanda Wilkin been in? She’s a playwright, actress and jazz and blues singer-songwriter – with screen credits including Berlin Station, Doctors, and The Tempest.
Robert Lonsdale plays Ollie
Who is Ollie? A member of the bereavement group. He killed his own parents in an accident.
What else has Ollie been in? He starred as Connor in Michaela Coel’s comedy Chewing Gum, and played Tommy in The Interceptor. Other TV show appearances have included Holby City, Death in Paradise, Inspector George Gently, Vera, and Lovesick.
Mary Roscoe plays Tina
Who is Tina? A member of the bereavement group. She lost her husband to a heart attack.
What else has Mary Roscoe been in? Recently she’s been in Ted Lasso (as Julie), Enola Holmes (as Grace Whitting), and Call the Midwife (as Mrs Witley). Other credits include Endeavour, The Casual Vacancy and Testament of Youth.
Mathias Swann plays Ed
Who is Ed? Nicola’s boyfriend.
What else has Mathias Swann been in? He’s appeared in a handful of short films including Cutter, Love Robot, and Villains.
Jamie Wilkes plays Dan
What else has Jamie Wilkes been in? He plays “The Pale-Faced Man” in His Dark Materials. Other screen credits include Mr Selfridge, Vanity Fair, Electric Dreams, and Catch-22; on stage, he’s been in several Royal Shakespeare Company productions.
Shannon Murray plays the headmistress
What else has Shannon Murray been in? Shannon Murray is an actress, model and disability activist. She’s previously appeared in Get Even, The Dark Tower, Class, EastEnders, and Silent Witness – and she’s set to appear in the upcoming TV series Viewpoint. Murray is also known for featuring in a high-profile advertising campaign for Debenhams.
Emily Woof plays George’s mum
What else has Emily Woof been in? She played DS Kerr in Coronation Street, Mandy in The Full Monty, and Tina in The Smoke. Emily Woof is also a playwright, a screenwriter and a novelist, with books including The Lightning Tree.
Joe Bannister plays William the estate agent
What else has Joe Bannister been in? He starred as Charles Wilcox in Howards End, and as Charlie Tyrell in The Singapore Grip.
Matthew Flynn plays Detective Davis
What else has Matthew Flynn been in? We’ve seen him as DS Sutton in Coronation Street.
Charlyne Francis plays Detective Prior
What else has Charlyne Francis been in? She made a brief appearance in Killing Eve.
Jane Shakespeare plays the coroner
What else has Jane Shakespeare been in? She played the role of Emma Bridle in The Asylum.
Finding Alice airs on Sundays at 9pm on ITV, and is available on ITV Hub as a boxset. Check out what else is on with our TV guide.