Meet the cast of To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters

Discover the actors playing the famous authors and their family on BBC1

Rory Fleck Byrne: Arthur Bell Nicholls

Who does he play?

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The curate to Patrick Brontë and friend to the family, Nicholls would later become Charlotte’s husband. It is suspected the sisters may have taken their writing pseudonyms from his middle name, though this might just have been a coincidence. 

Where do you know him from?

Actor and composer Byrne has appeared in Midsomer Murders, Damo and Ivor and Grantchester, and is set to appear in ITV series Harlots next year.


David Walmsley: Joe Leyland

Who does he play?

A sculptor and drinking companion of Branwell Brontë, Joe also struggled to make his mark and died an alcoholic three years after his friend.

Where do you know him from?

Walmsley appeared with To Walk Invisible co-star Luke Newberry for In the Flesh’s first series, and has also appeared in The Smoke, The Crimson Field, Banished and the new Ben-Hur film.


Gracie Kelly: Ellen Nussey

Who does she play?

The lifelong friend and pen pal of Charlotte, Ellen’s hundreds of letters ended up becoming the foundation of Charlotte’s biography.

Where do you know her from?

Kelly has appeared in Scott & Bailey, Doctors and Bona Fide among other roles.


James Norton: The Duke of Wellington

Who does he play?

Norton makes a cameo in a fantasy sequence as one of the Brontë siblings’ toy soldiers come to life.

Where do you know him from?

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Norton shot to fame playing rapist Tommy Lee Royce in Sally Wainwright’s Happy Valley, and has since starred in the likes of War & Peace, Black Mirror and Grantchester, the latter of which had its festive special on Christmas Eve.