The Radio Times logo

Meet the cast of Press on BBC1

Who’s who in Mike Bartlett’s new BBC1 drama

Published: Tuesday, 6th November 2018 at 9:18 am

Following Doctor Foster's critical acclaim, Mike Bartlett is back with a new, whip-smart drama – this time set in the offices of two fictional, competing newspapers.


BBC1's Press follows the employees of a broadsheet newspaper, The Herald, and a tabloid, The Post, as they battle to keep their personal lives afloat while working under the pressure of a 24-hour global news cycle and an industry in turmoil.

Meet the cast and characters below…

Charlotte Riley plays Holly Evans


Who is Holly Evans?As The Herald’s deputy news editor, Holly is a gifted and ferociously hardworking journalist, but she tends to bury herself in her work to the detriment of her social life. As the series goes on and she rediscovers the thrill of on-the-ground reporting, Holly begins to wonder whether editing behind a desk is really what she wants.

Where have I seen Charlotte Riley before? Riley is best known for playing May Carleton in Peaky Blinders, and her other TV credits include King Charles III, Close to the Enemy and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. She will next appear in Danny Boyle’s series Trust.

Ben Chaplin plays Duncan Allen

Who is Duncan Allen?The editor of The Post, Duncan is whip smart and charming, but also morally challenged and manipulative. He is a dogged journalist who is determined to get a story – by any means necessary. His personal life is in a bit of a mess and worsens as the series continues.

Where have I seen Ben Chaplin before? Many will recognise Chaplin from his villainous role in Apple Tree Yard, but he has also starred in the TV series Mad Dogs, The Book of Negroes and World Without End. His film credits include Snowden, Cinderella and 90s war drama The Thin Red Line. He will also soon be seen in the movie The Children Act.

Priyanga Burford plays Amina Chaudury

Who is Amina Chaudury?As The Herald’s editor, Amina is principled and ambitious. She is struggling to balance the newspaper’s liberal values with pragmatism – and a need to sell stories – during a period of decline in print journalism. Recently divorced, Amina faces battles in her personal life, too.

Where have I seen Priyanga Burford before? As well as starring in King Charles III alongside Charlotte Riley, Burford has appeared in the TV series W1A, Fearless and London Spy and as resistance medical officer in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. She will also star in This Time with Alan Partridge.

Paapa Essiedu plays Ed Washburn

Who is Ed Washburn? A recent Oxford graduate who’s just got a job as a reporter at The Post, Ed is struggling to reconcile his liberal idealism with his duties at the paper and his desire to progress. Ed turned to the tabloid only after his application to The Herald was unsuccessful and his activities at work play on his conscience.

Where have I seen Paapa Essiedu before? Essiedu was recently seen in Kiri and The Miniaturist and is set to appear in Black Earth Rising alongside Michaela Coel.

Al Weaver plays James Edwards

Who is James Edwards?Investigative reporter James has a reputation for being one of the best journalists in his field, but even so, his role at The Herald is far from secure. He knows needs to land a story big enough to justify his place on the payroll or risk losing it. Him and Holly are close friends, but their relationship is tested after James receives a huge tip-off.

Where have I seen Al Weaver before? Weaver played Leonard Finch in Grantchester and has also starred in The Hollow Crown and Sherlock.

Ellie Kendrick plays Leona Manning-Lynd

Who is Leona Manning-Lynd? One of the youngest journalists at The Herald, Leona is super keen but is very much on a learning curve and is being mentored by Holly.

Where have I seen Ellie Kendrick before? Perhaps best known for her role as Meera Reed in Game Of Thrones, Kendrick has also appeared in MisFits, Upstairs Downstairs and The Diary Of Anne Frank.

Brendan Cowell plays Peter Langly

Who is Peter Langly? The Herald's deputy editor Peter is Amina’s right-hand man. He is married to Susie and they seem to live a life of domesticated bliss with their children, but when a high-pressure story brings him closer to Amina, a flicker of attraction between them threatens to change everything.

Where have I seen Brendan Cowell before? Cowell is known for playing Harrag in Game of Thrones and has also starred in the series Wastelander Panda, The Borgias and Love My Way. He also performed alongside Billie Piper in Yerma at the National Theatre.

Shane Zaza plays Raz Kane

Who is Raz Kane? As The Post’s news editor, Raz is the walking, talking embodiment of the tabloid’s populist instincts. In contrast to Ed, Raz seemingly has no ethical or moral qualms over The Post’s often problematic journalistic methods.

Where have I seen Shane Zaza before? Zaza played a copper in Happy Valley, and you might have also seen him in Black Mirror’s Nosedive episode.

David Suchet as George Emmerson

Who is George Emmerson? George is the CEO of Worldwide News, a huge conglomerate of multimedia companies, one of which is The Post. His position means he wields enormous influence on British public life. George is perhaps the only man who can bring Duncan Allen to heel.

Where have I seen David Suchet before? Best known for playing the titular detective in Poirot for over 20 years, Suchet has also starred in Decline and Fall, Great Expectations and Hidden.


This article was originally published in August 2018


Sponsored content