ITV’s new family drama Flesh and Blood centres around character Vivien’s budding romance with a retired surgeon and her adult children’s suspicions about his intentions towards her.
Imelda Staunton leads the cast as the family’s perceptive (read: nosey) neighbour, who has a crush on Vivien.
Read on for the full cast and character details, including RadioTimes.com exclusive interviews with stars Staunton and Russell Tovey.
Imelda Staunton plays Mary
Who is Mary? Mary has lived next door to Vivien and her family since the children were born, and used to help out with childcare duties. We soon discover she has a somewhat unhealthy obsession with Vivien herself, and is irritated by the presence of Mark, Vivien’s new man.
Speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com, Imelda Staunton said of her character: “I think she’s looking out for Vivien and I also think maybe she doesn’t want things to change, and if [Mark is] around then things have changed a little bit, and Vivien’s out and enjoying herself… I think [Mary is] a bit weary of him but probably not as much as the kids are. But I just don’t think she wants things to change…I think she sort of worships Vivien.”
Where have I seen Imelda Staunton before? The actress has just been cast as the third (and final) version of Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s The Crown, but she has previously played Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films, and starred in the recent Downton Abbey film.
Francesca Annis plays Vivien
Who is Vivien? Vivien is a 60-something widow who’s determined to live her life to the full by enjoying her newfound independence. However, her three adult children become immediately suspicious of her budding romance with retired surgeon Mark.
Where have I seen Francesca Annis before? The actress is known for a variety of TV and film roles, including The Libertine, King of Thieves, Deceit, and the period drama series Cranford.
Stephen Rea plays Mark
Who is Mark? A retired surgeon, Mark seems too good to be true, showering Vivien with expensive gift, holidays, and a marriage proposal just six moths after meeting her. When Vivien falls ill, he tends to her every need – but is the timing a coincidence?
Where have I seen Stephen Rea before? The Oscar-nominated Northern Irish actor has starred in films like V for Vendetta, Michael Collins and The Crying Game, and has more recently appeared in shows like War & Peace, Dickensian, and The Stranger.
Russell Tovey plays Jake
Who is Jake? Vivien’s only son Jake is living apart from his wife and child following tensions over his gambling addiction. A personal trainer, he’s also reached an ‘arrangement’ with a wealthy client, Stella.
Speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com, Russell Tovey said of his character: “I think he’s the epitome of toxic masculinity… I think he’s exactly what so many thirty-somethings are like. They’re caught adrift at that time in their life… [where] their behaviours [have] been enabled, and then they get to a point where things start screwing up and it doesn’t make sense to them.”
Where have I seen Russell Tovey before? You’ll probably recognise him as Daniel, one of the Lyons siblings in Russell T Davies’ dystopian drama Years and Years. He’s also starred in Being Human, Banished, Sherlock, Gavin and Stacey, and The History Boys.
Claudie Blakley plays Helen
Who is Helen? Helen is the oldest of the three siblings. She’s got a high-pressured job in hospital administration, and relies on alcohol to help her with the stress. Caught up in her work, she’s deluded about the state of her marriage with husband George.
Where have I seen Claudie Blakley before? English actress Claudie Blakley is probably best-known for her roles in period dramas, playing Emma Timmins in the BBC series Lark Rise to Candleford; Charlotte Lucas in the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice; and Martha in Cranford.
Lydia Leonard plays Natalie
Who is Natalie? Artistic, youngest sibling Natalie is working as a personal assistant to a property developer, and having an affair with her boss, Tony.
Where have I seen Lydia Leonard before? Leonard recently played Anne Lister’s former lover Mariana Lawton in BBC One period drama Gentleman Jack, and had a role in the Emma Thompson festive film Last Christmas. She’s also starred in the likes of Apple Tree Yard and Absentia.
Sharon Small plays Stella
Who is Stella? A partner in a local law firm, Stella also has a small side-line in property rentals. She’s been taking fitness classes with Jake – who’s also been providing other services…
Where have I seen Sharon Small before? The actress has starred in a variety of TV series, including Downton Abbey, Trust Me, Born to Kill, London Kills, and The Bay.
Keir Charles plays George
Who is George? George is a stay-at-home dad and husband to Helen, but his home life is making him increasingly unhappy and he retreats by smoking marijuana.
Where have I seen Keir Charles before? Charles played Robert Buckland MP in A Confession, Chris in Girl/Haji, and has starred in the likes of The End of the F***ing World, Casualty and The Bill.
Lara Rossi plays Leila
Who is Leila? Leila recently threw her husband Jake out of the family home after learning of his gambling debts. She wants to protect her children and the home they’ve built, but also deeply loves him.
Where have I seen Lara Rossi before? Rossi’s notable roles have included Evelyn in the 2018 film Robin Hood; Amy in the TV series Cheat; and Lady Sybil Ramkin in The Watch.
Vincent Regan plays Tony
Who is Tony? Tony is Natalie’s married boss and lover, and has long been promising to leave his wife for her.
Where have I seen Vincent Regan before? Regan recently played Ned Despard in the latest season of BBC One period drama Poldark. He’s also starred in The Royals, The White Princess, Snatch, Atlantis, and Rebel Heart.
Flesh and Blood aired 24-27th February 2020 on ITV