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Meet the cast of McDonald and Dodds

The detective drama stars Jason Watkins, Tala Gouveia, and some big-name guest actors.

McDonald and Dodds
Published: Wednesday, 3rd March 2021 at 5:12 pm

ITV's McDonald & Dodds is back, with new characters joining the fray.


Of course, Tala Gouveia and Jason Watkins both reprise their roles as the titular detectives "thrown together with seemingly nothing in common," who, despite the odds, "forge a rumbustious, entertaining and ultimately – give or take a few setbacks – effective partnership."

Guest stars in series two include Sharon Rooney, Martin Kemp and Patsy Kensit, while last series gave us appearances from Hugh Dennis and Game of Thrones actress Ellie Kendrick.

Set in Bath, each two-hour episode takes us into a new murder mystery with its own set of guest actors. Here's our full rundown of who appears, and when.

Jason Watkins plays DS Dodds

Jason Watkins plays DS Dodds in McDonald and Dodds

Who is DS Dodds? Described as "shy" and "unassuming", DS Dodds has "happily languished on the shelf for most of his working life." He's been working quietly and diligently at his desk in Bath for years without anyone taking much notice, but now his boss is hoping to push him into early retirement – so he's been paired with DCI Lauren McDonald and forced out into frontline action, which is quite a shock to the system. However, instead of giving up and taking his pension, Dodds proves himself a talented detective with "a hidden talent for deciphering puzzles."

What else has Jason Watkins been in? Jason Watkins has had a prolific acting career across screen and stage, winning a BAFTA and bagging an Olivier nomination. He recently starred alongside David Tennant in the ITV crime drama Des (as Brian Masters), while international viewers might recognise him as Prime Minister Harold Wilson in season three of The Crown. He's also played Roger in Hold the Sunset, Gavin in Trollied, Tim Ifield in Line of Duty, and Emlyn Hooson in A Very English Scandal. Other major roles have included William Herrick in Being Human, Simon Harwood in W1A, and the lead role in The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies; and the actor has also been in Taboo, Our Zoo, and Doctor Who.

Tala Gouveia plays DCI Lauren McDonald

Tala Gouveia plays DCI Lauren McDonald in McDonald and Dodds

Who is DCI Lauren McDonald? A "wildly ambitious" Detective Chief Inspector who's transferred from the "mean streets of South London" to the quiet streets of Bath. She is young, talented, often underestimated, and is described as " a tough, driven, battering ram of a cop who cracks cases through sheer force of will." McDonald isn't initially pleased to be paired with Dodds, but the two soon form an unlikely partnership.

What else has Tala Gouveia been in? She's been in Tracey Ullman's Show, Cold Feet, Go Jetters, Arrivals, EastEnders, Plebs and Scream Street – but this could be a breakout role for Tala Gouveia.

James Murray plays Chief Supt John Houseman

James Murray plays Superintendent John Houseman in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Chief Superintendent John Houseman? The big boss. He wants Dodds to take early retirement, and he's brought McDonald in from London – but he's not exactly a supportive manager, and he doesn't want this newcomer to make any waves or upset anyone influential in Bath. James Murray describes his character as "a pompous idiot" who is "ruthless, slippery and very determined in knowing what he wants to get."

What else has James Murray been in? The English actor (who's actually married to Bancroft star Sarah Parish) has previously starred as Daniel Coltrane in Cucumber, and Wesley in Age Before Beauty. You may also recognise him from Cutting It, Primeval, Suspects, Defiance, or Him.

Jack Riddiford plays DC Darren Craig

Jack Riddiford plays DC Darren Craig in McDonald and Dodds

Who is DC Darren Craig? A police officer working in Bath.

What else has Jack Riddiford been in? He's made a handful of on-screen appearances, playing Jago Martin in an episode of Poldark and appearing in Doc Martin, Murder on the Orient Express, Guns Akimbo, Dunkirk, and Journey's End.

Lily Sacofsky plays DC Milena Pachiorkowski (series 2)

McDonald & Dodds - Series 2

Who is DC Milena Pachiorkowski? A reserved, "modest" officer who captures the attention of one of her new colleagues - sparking a potential office romance.

Creator Robert Murphy said of Milena: “We wanted to introduce a Polish officer, because we tried to reflect contemporary Britain. The characters we come across try and reflect the world we are in.”

What else has Lily Sacofsky been in? The actress has been in Sanditon (as Clara Brereton), Bancroft, and Summer of Rockets.

Pearl Chanda plays DC Laura Simpson (series 1)

Pearl Chanda plays DC Laura Simpson in McDonald & Dodds

Who is DC Laura Simpson? A police officer working in Bath.

What else has Pearl Chanda been in? She was Debbie-Louise in Motherland, and Maud in the TV series Arthur & George. Other credits include Holby City, Endeavour (as the delightfully-named Bettina Pettybon) and Mr Turner – and later this year she'll be in BBC Two drama series January 22nd.

Series 2 episode 2 – We Need to Talk about Doreen

Sharon Rooney plays Doreen Warren

Sharon Rooney plays Doreen Warren in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Doreen Warren? One of a group of friends who descend on Bath for a boozy birthday weekend, celebrating Angela's birthday. As Sharon Rooney puts it, "Doreen is the put-upon friend, and almost like the mum of the group. She organised the whole weekend away for her best friend Angela’s birthday, and Angela is one of those people who loves to be in the spotlight while Doreen is happy to be in the background." However, "there is definitely more to her than meets the eye."

What else has Sharon Rooney been in? She starred as Rachel "Rae" Earl in My Mad Fat Diary. Since then, we've seen her in The Tunnel, Two Doors Down, Brief Encounters, No Offence, Zapped, Dumbo (as Miss Atlantis), The Capture (as Becky), and, most recently, Finding Alice (as Nicola).

Joy McAvoy plays Angela McGruder

Joy McAvoy plays Angela McGruder in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Angela McGruder? The birthday girl. She has a husband and young son back in Glasgow, but she's determined to enjoy her weekend break.

What else has Joy McAvoy been in? Like her McDonald and Dodds co-star Sharon Rooney, Joy McAvoy was in Two Doors Down, playing Michelle. She's also been in The Crews, Avengers: Endgame (as an Asgaridian Maiden), and Filth.

Shelley Conn plays Hilary O'Doyle

Shelley Conn plays Hilary O'Doyle in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Hilary O'Doyle? Possibly the odd one out in the group. Hilary is married to Angela's father.

What else has Shelley Conn been in? In recent years, Shelley has played Ruth in The Deceived, DI Vanessa Harmon in Liar, Nicole Miller in Deep State and Danielle Wulff in The Rook. She's also known for TV shows and movies including Mistresses, Malevolent, Heartbeat, Heading Out, Strike Back, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Terra Nova.

Maya Coates plays Melissa McGruder

Maya Coates plays Melissa McGruder in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Melissa McGruder? Angela's sister-in-law. Melissa uses an electric wheelchair.

What else has Maya Coates been in? The young actress trained with the National Youth Theatre in London and is usually seen on stage, including with the Scottish Youth Theatre and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Kat Ronney plays Cath Taylor

Kat Ronney plays Cath Taylor in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Cath Taylor? Angela's sister, who is on the trip to Bath with her.

What else has Kat Ronney been in? She has a variety of theatre credits, including Hamlet at the National Theatre.

John Thomson plays Jimmy Daly

John Thomson plays Jimmy Daly in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Jimmy Daly? The chairman of Bath Eagles rugby club. He is very wealthy and owns a gorgeous house, in which he has built a large model railway as a faithful reproduction of the local area. John Thomson says: "He hopes he’s well liked, but behind his back people think he is a bit of a joke. He is a bit ‘new money’, a Flash Harry. He is also a bit lonely. He is very keen to find a partner, but he goes for women that aren’t interested in him. He fancies himself as a bit of a lothario, but his geeky, nerdy side lets him down. He is a bit of an eccentric really."

What else has John Thomson been in? The actor and comedian is known for shows including Cold Feet, Brassic, After Hours, The Fast Show, and Coronation Street – as well as roles in movies like Inkheart and 24 Hour Party People. He voices the character of Dog in children's TV show Dog Loves Books, and recently starred in series two of The Masked Singer (as "Bush Baby").

Natalie Gumede plays Deborah Winwick

Natalie Gumede plays Deborah Winwick in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Deborah Winwick? The agent for one of the rugby players, Dominique. She is ruthless and will jump at any opportunity to make money for herself or her client. Jimmy Daly is clearly besotted with her.

What else has Natalie Gumede been in? Natalie Gumede starred as Kirsty Soames in Coronation Street, and has also appeared in shows including Doctor Who (as Ashley in 2014 episode Last Christmas), Titans, Jekyll & Hyde and Strike. She made the final of Strictly Come Dancing in 2013.

Tomos Gwynfryn plays Dominique Aubert

Tomos Gwynfryn plays Dominique Aubert in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Dominique Aubert? A promising (and expensive) rugby player, who has only recently arrived in Bath to play for the Bath Eagles.

What else has Tomos Gwynfryn been in? Aside form starring in a number of short films, he played Sir Lamorak in King Arthur: Excalibur Rising.

Andrew Rothney plays Rhuaridh McGruder

Who is Rhuaridh McGruderAngela's husband.

What else has Andrew Rothney been in? He played Angus Douglas in The Spanish Princess, and Danny Callaghan in The Victim. Other credits include Shetland, Catherine the Great, and Outlander.

Series 2 episode 1 – The Man Who Wasn't There

Rob Brydon plays Roy Gilbert

Rob Brydon plays Roy Gilbert in McDonald & Dodds

Who is Roy Gilbert? An aviation expert working for the Air Incident Investigation Agency, and assisting the police on a new case.

What else has Rob Brydon been in? He plays an exaggerated version of himself in The Trip, and reprised his iconic role as Uncle Bryn in the recent Gavin & Stacey Christmas special. Other projects have included Marion & Geoff, The Huntsman: Winter's War, Little Britain, Supernova, and extensive voice acting in animated features like The Highway Rat.

Rupert Graves plays Gordon Elmwood

Rupert Graves plays Gordon Elmwood in McDonald & Dodds

Who is Gordon Elmwood? A rising star in the 1980s, now living in Bath.

What else has Rupert Graves been in? He recently played Gabriel Hirsch in the third season of Riviera, and is known internationally as Lestrade in the BBC One drama Sherlock. He played Mr Weston in the new film adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma, Gary in Last Tango in Halifax, and Frederick in The War of the Worlds. Past projects have also included The White Queen, The Crimson Field, V for Vendetta, and Maurice.

Martin Kemp plays Mick Elkins

McDonald & Dodds - Series 2

Who is Mick Elkins? The leader of a gang of four friends who have all tasted fame in the past. In Mick's case, he was a major music executive in the 1980s.

What else has Martin Kemp been in? The former Spandau Ballet star is now known for his acting work in the likes of EastEnders (as Steve), Family (as Joey Cutler), Birds of a Feather, Growing Rich, Hustle, and the recent satirical documentary The Kemps: All True.

Patsy Kensit plays Barbara Graham

Patsy Kensit plays Barbara Graham in McDonald & Dodds

Who is Barbara Graham? A successful 1980s presenter who now does commercials.

What else has Patsy Kensit been in? She's starred in Lethal Weapon 2, Absolute Beginners, and Hanover Street, and is know for her long-running role as Faye in Holby City. Other projects have included Emmerdale, A Bucket o' French & Saunders, Tina and Bobby, and The Turn of the Screw.

Cathy Tyson plays Jackie Somner

Cathy Tyson plays Jackie Somner in McDonald & Dodds

Who is Jackie Somner? A fellow former star of the 1980s, who now lives in the same area of Bath with her close friends.

What else has Cathy Tyson been in? She's known for early roles in Rules of Engagement, Band of Gold, Gold, Mona Lisa, and Night & Day, in addition to roles like Miss Gayle in Grange Hill and in recent appearances in The Fight and two Graves.

Series 1 episode 2 - A Wilderness of Mirrors

Joanna Scanlan plays Kelly Mulcreevy 

Joanna Scanlan plays Kelly Mulcreevy in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Kelly Mulcreevy? A "diversion therapist" at a private hospital called The Mara Retreat.

What else has Joanna Scanlan been in? So many things! She's recently been in No Offence (as DI Vivienne Deering), The Accident (Angela Griffiths), Dracula (the Mother Superior), Requiem (Janice Gray), The Woman in White (Mrs Vesey) and Hold the Sunset (Sandra). Joanna Scanlan is also known for playing Terri Coverley in The Thick of It, Sister Den Flixter in Getting On, and Nana V in Puppy Love. Her big-screen credits include Notes on a Scandal, Girl with a Pearl Earring, and Bridget Jones's Baby.

Hugh Dennis plays George Holden

Hugh Dennis plays George Holden in McDonald and Dodds

Who is George Holden? The CEO of the Mara.

What else has Hugh Dennis been in? He's best-known as a comedian and a comedy actor, serving as a panellist on Mock the Week and taking part in everything from Taskmaster to The Apprentice's spin-off You're Fired. Acting roles have included the Bank Manager in Fleabag, dad Pete in Outnumbered (which earned him a BAFTA nomination), Toby in Not Going Out, and Dr Piers Crispin in My Hero.

Caroline Catz plays Alison Speirs

Caroline Catz plays Alison Speirs in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Alison Speirs? One of the members of Kelly's diversion therapy group – and a patient at the Mara, where she's in 'treatment' for her sex addiction. She also works as a florist and has her own shop in town.

What else has Caroline Catz been in? The actress stars as Louisa in Doc Martin, and also played DI Helen Morton in DCI Banks. Her other shows have included Murder in Suburbia, I Want My Wife Back, and The Bill.

Michele Dotrice plays Mary Costair 

Michele Dotrice plays Mary Costair in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Mary Costair? Another therapy group member. After losing her husband and seeing her kid and grandkids move abroad, Mary has come to regard her fellow patients as her own family. She has a gambling addiction.

What else has Michele Dotrice been in? Most famously, she starred as Frank's wife Betty Spencer in BBC sitcom Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em. Michele Dotrice's long acting career stretches back to the 1960s, and so far we've seen her in everything from Vanity Fair (as Mrs Sedley) to A Very English Scandal (as Edna Friendship) to The Old Curiosity Shop (as Nell Trent). In recent years she's played Miss Trifle in Grandpa's Great Escape, Mario in Inside No. 9, and Pam in Death in Paradise.

Freddie Fox plays Miles Stevens 

Freddie Fox plays Miles Stevens in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Miles Stevens? An alcoholic who's in treatment at the Mara. During the day, Miles is a busker in the centre of Bath.

What else has Freddie Fox been in? He recently starred as killer Jeremy Bamber in White House Farm, and showed off his comedy skills in Year of the Rabbit as posh detective Wilbur Strauss. Other screen credits have included The Three Musketeers, Victor Frankenstein, Cucumber, Banana, Parade's End, and The Riot Club. Also, in case you were wondering; yes, Freddie Fox does come from the Fox acting dynasty. His sister is Silent Witness star Emilia Fox, Laurence Fox is his cousin, and his dad is Edward Fox.

Suzanne Packer plays Jane Crawford

Suzanne Packer plays Jane Crawford in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Jane Crawford? A patient at the Mara, who decides to discharge herself and escape to a hotel before fleeing the country. However, she doesn't exactly get that far...

What else has Suzanne Packer been in? Casualty fans will recognise her as Tess Bateman. Since she left the soap, Suzanne Packer has played Carole in the TV series Stella, Eve Cicero in Doctor Who episode The Tsuranga Conundrum, Capstick in The ABC Murders, Delyth Lloyd in Keeping Faith, and Layla in Bang.

Kiran Sonia Sawar plays Maheeda Abaasi 

Kiran Sonia Sawar plays Maheeda Abaasi in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Maheeda Abaasi? Another member of the therapy group, though – unlike the others – she isn't an addict, and she isn't a private patient.

What else has Kiran Sonia Sawar been in? She starred as Shereen in the dark comedy Pure, Alice in Silent Witness, Ani in Next of Kin, Naz in The Capture, and Sita in Deep State. Other major roles include Salma in the TV movie Murdered by My Father, and Shazia in Black Mirror episode Crocodile.

Charlotte Ritchie plays Irene Ross 

Charlotte Ritchie plays Irene Ross in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Irene Ross? A liaison officer who may be hiding a big secret.

What else has Charlotte Ritchie been in? The actress is perhaps best-known for starring as Nurse Barbara in Call the Midwife, and for playing Oregon in Channel 4 comedy Fresh Meat. Her other credits include Raised by Wolves, Siblings, and Lin in the Doctor Who episode Resolution; she's also recently starred in Dead Pixels and Ghosts, and guest-starred in Death in Paradise and Stath Lets Flats.

Series 1 episode 1 - The Fall of the House of Crockett

Robert Lindsay plays Max Crockett

Robert Lindsay plays Jim Crockett in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Max Crockett? As Robert Lindsay puts it, "Max Crockett is a major figure in Bath. He’s an extremely wealthy entrepreneur and a very powerful guy with an extraordinary hold over his family and plans to hand on his legacy when he retires. Crockett has a massive ego." The episode kicks off with a man being shot to death in Crockett's house – and McDonald and Dodds must work out who he is, who killed him, why, and how.

What else has Robert Lindsay been in? Across a long and varied acting career, Robert Lindsay has won a BAFTA, a Tony, and three Olivier Awards. In recent years you may have seen him in Bounty Hunters, Genius, or Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (as King John); he's also known for playing Wolfie Smith in Citizen Smith, Captain Pellew in Hornblower, and narrating Brambly Hedge.

Rosalie Craig plays Megan Wattal

Rosalie Craig plays Megan Wattal in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Megan Wattal? One of Max Crockett's three daughters. She's on the local council and is competing for control of the family business once her dad steps aside.

What else has Rosalie Craig been in? The actress has enjoyed a successful stage career, appearing in The Lord of the Rings, Company,, and The Light Princess (which won her an Evening Standard Award and Olivier nomination). Her handful of TV and movie credits includes Father Brown, Midsomer Murders, and Spooks.

Navin Chowdhry plays Pete Wattal

Navin Chowdhry plays Pete Wattal in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Pete Wattal? Megan's husband. He is a lawyer, and he's also determined that she should inherit the Crockett empire.

What else has Navin Chowdhry been in? Recent years have seen him take on roles in Our Girl, Next of Kin, The Replacement, and The End of the F***ing World (playing Tony). He played a Resistance Cargo Pilot in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and on TV he's been DC Asap Qureshi in A Touch of Cloth, Anwar in Doctor Foster and Kurt in Teachers. Back in 2005 he played a character called Indra Ganesh in Doctor Who, alongside Christopher Eccleston.

Susannah Fielding plays Tamara Valentine

Susannah Fielding plays Tamara Valentine in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Tamara Valentine? The second daughter. She and and husband Jack have their own art dealership, and they're desperate to demonstrate to her father that she should be the one to take over the family business.

What else has Susannah Fielding been in? On TV, she's played Isobel in Sticks and Stones, Jennie in This Time with Alan Partridge, and Brooke in The Great Indoors. Back in 2010 there was an appearance in Doctor Who episode Victory of the Daleks, and soon she'll be appearing in upcoming TV drama Life. But much of her career so far has been on the stage, with performances in The Merchant of Venice, American Psycho and All New People.

Jack Ashton plays Jack Valentine

Jack Ashton plays Jack Valentine in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Jack Valentine? Tamara's husband.

What else has Jack Ashton been in? He starred as the Reverend Tom Hereward in Call the Midwife, but left the drama in 2018 (though his real-life partner, Helen George, still plays Nurse Trixie Franklin). Other credits include Welcome to Curiosity, Endeavour, and Broadchurch.

Ellie Kendrick plays Elenora Crockett

Ellie Kendrick plays Elenora Crockett in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Elenora Crockett? The third Crockett daughter. She's gone in a completely different direction to her sisters, opening her own bakery in Bath with her wife and totally opting out of competing for the Crockett family business. Elenora doesn't have a ton of money, but she's happy with her life choices.

What else has Ellie Kendrick been in? Having started out as a child actor in shows including Lewis and Doctors, the actress starred as Anne Frank in 2009 TV drama The Diary of Anne Frank. She played Tina in the movie An Education, Helen in Misfits, and Ivy Morris in Upstairs Downstairs – but Game of Thrones fans will know her for starring as Meera Reed in the HBO fantasy series. Since then, she's been in Vanity Fair (as Jane Osborne), Press (as Leona Manning-Lynd) and Cobra (as Stephanie Lodge).

Cassie Bradley plays Kasha Perry

Cassie Bradley plays Kasha Perry in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Kasha Perry? Elenora's wife. She has a Traveller background, and Max Crockett has never really accepted her into his family.

What else has Cassie Bradley been in? Corrie fans may recognise her as Natalie Watkins, while Casualty fans may know her as Leigh-Anne Carr. Her other notable role is in the History Channel TV series 'Jesus: His Life', in which she played Mary Magdalene.

Natalie Mendoza plays Mathilde Crockett

Natalie Mendoza plays Mathilde Crockett in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Mathilde Crockett? Max's younger, pregnant wife. Megan and Tamara are concerned that she (and her future child) might disrupt their plans to take over the family business.

What else has Natalie Mendoza been in? She's best-known for playing Jackie Clunes in Hotel Babylon, and for playing Juno in horror thriller The Descent (and its sequel). The last few years have seen appearances in Blood Drive, Blue Bloods, Holby City, and Midsomer Murders.


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