After keeping fans on the edge of their seats in Netflix’s Fool Me Once at the beginning of the year, Richard Armitage is back on our screens in another addictive thriller on ITV, titled Red Eye.


Armitage leads the cast as Dr Matthew Nolan, who, following a trip to China, is extradited back to Beijing where he is charged with a manslaughter he insists he didn’t commit.

Accompanying him on the trip back to China is police officer DI Hana Li (Gangs of London star Jing Lusi), who ends up investigating a number of suspicious incidents that unfold on board the duo’s red eye trip to Beijing.

Speaking about how he was kept guessing regarding his character’s true intentions upon first reading the scripts, Armitage said: "I don't know if he's who he says he is.

"What happened to him in Beijing? He can remember part of it. There's another part of it that he has no memory of which, when you're faced with a legal challenge, is really difficult territory.

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"So, he's already on thin ice... protesting his innocence, but really not being sure himself."

Meanwhile, Lusi said of her character: "She is spirited and authentic. She's a real human, who is flawed, but not in a really obvious way – some characters in drama can feel quite extreme.

"Of course, these people exist in society, but often they seem to be the only ones that are portrayed on screen. For me, Hana is more like your everyday woman, who has her own struggles and her own history, but she feels very relatable."

Alongside Armitage and Lusi, the cast of Red Eye features a number of recognisable faces, as well as some you might not be familiar with.

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For more information about the characters and where you've seen the actors who play them before, read on.

Red Eye cast: Who stars in the ITV drama?

  • Jing Lusi as Hana Li
  • Richard Armitage as Matthew Nolan
  • Lesley Sharp as Madeline Delaney
  • Jemma Moore as Jess Li
  • Dan Li as Toni Zhang
  • Zoe Telford as Amber Hurst
  • Lucianne McEvoy as Kate Ward
  • Thomas Chaanhing as Chén
  • Jonathan Aris as John Tennant
  • Xiangyi Tan as Tiffany
  • Oliver Maltman as Steven Hurst
  • Robert Gilbert as Simon King
  • Rick Warden as Chris Peele
  • Aidan Cheng as Wú
  • Cash Holland as Ruth Banks
  • Kevan MacKenzie as Len Delaney
  • Mido Hamada as Mike Maxwell
  • Tai Yin Chan as Rén Yúnxi
  • Daphne Cheung as Mrs Ruǎn Yuè
  • David KS Tse as Minister Aìguó Táng
  • Ken Bradshaw as Officer Miller

Richard Armitage plays Matthew Nolan

Matthew Nolan sat down on the plane
Richard Armitage plays Matthew Nolan. BAD WOLF FOR ITV AND ITVX

Who is Matthew Nolan? A doctor who is accused of manslaughter following a trip to China for a conference.

Where have I seen Richard Armitage before? Armitage is a favourite of Harlan Coben, appearing in Fool Me Once, Stay Close and The Stranger. And he's also been cast in his upcoming book adaptation, Missing You. You might have also watched Armitage in Obsession, The Hobbit saga, Spooks, Robin Hood, Hannibal and Berlin Station.

Jing Lusi plays Hana Li

Jing Lusi as DC Hana Li and Richard Armitage as Dr Matthew Nolan in Red Eye standing together on a plane, with Armitage in handcuffs
Jing Lusi as DC Hana Li and Richard Armitage as Dr Matthew Nolan in Red Eye. Bad Wolf for ITV/ITVX

Who is Hana Li? A detective constable who is escorting Nolan back to China. Hana was born in Hong Kong but moved to the UK with her father when she was five, after her mother's unexplained death.

Speaking to about how she resonated with her character, Lusi said: "Hana’s mother died in Hong Kong and the circumstances of her death are not known to Hana. It's something that's not discussed within their family. So she feels like there's a huge part of her that she doesn't understand.

"Losing your mother is one of the most traumatic events that could happen to anyone, regardless of how old they are. But also, to not actually understand it at all, especially as a child, and then just find yourself in a different country where you don't know anyone and you don't speak the language."

She continued: "And for me, I can really resonate with that, because Hana emigrated when she was five from Hong Kong, and I emigrated at exactly the same age from China – from Shanghai.

"And so, just to kind of wake up one day and be in this country, which is predominantly white, and have to learn the language very quickly and just get thrown into school… I think that's just made her extremely, extremely confused woman looking for some sense of belonging in the world."

Where have I seen Jing Lusi before? She's appeared in Crazy Rich Asians, Heart of Stone, Holby City, Gangs of London, Lucky Man, SAS: Red Notice, Man vs Bee and The Feed, among others.

Jemma Moore plays Jess Li

Jess Li stood outside, writing notes in a notepad
Jemma Moore plays Jess Li. BAD WOLF FOR ITV AND ITVX

Who is Jess Li? Hana's half-sister and an aspiring journalist. The pair had a fallout after Jess used a casual dinner conversation with Hana to write an article about the police. When her sister becomes involved in the Nolan case, Jess sees another opportunity to boost her career.

Where have I seen. Jemma Moore before? She's had roles in Lockwood & Co, Silent Witness and Two Doors Down.

Dan Li plays Toni Zhang

Toni Zhang sat down at the back of the plane
Dan Li plays Toni Zhang. BAD WOLF FOR ITV AND ITVX

Who is Toni Zhang? A mysterious man with a gun who is travelling on the return flight to China with Nolan and Hana.

Where have I seen Dan Li before? He's had roles in Vigil, Luther: The Fallen Sun, The Lazurus Project and The Continental.

Zoe Telford plays Amber Hurst

Elizabeth Burk standing up in the plane, with a concerned look on her face
Sarah Toogood plays Elizabeth Burk. BAD WOLF FOR ITV AND ITVX

Who is Amber Hurst? A doctor who is friends with Nolan and attended the same conference. She agrees to return to China to be questioned by the authorities.

Where have I seen Zoe Telford before? She's had roles in The Lazurus Project, Unforgotten, Absolute Power and The Palace, among others.

Lucianne McEvoy plays Kate Ward

Dr Kate Ward on thew plane, standing in the aisle with her hand on a curtain.
Lucianne McEvoy plays Kate Ward. Bad Wolf for ITV1 and ITVX

Who is Kate Ward? Another colleague of Nolan's, who agrees to fly back to China as part of the investigation.

Where have I seen Lucianne McEvoy before? She's best known for Shetland.

Lesley Sharp plays Madeline Delaney

Madeline Delaney stood in MI5's control room
Lesley Sharp plays Madeline Delaney. BAD WOLF FOR ITV AND ITVX

Who is Madeline Delaney? The recently promoted director of MI5. She heads up the official response to several murders on Nolan's flight, liaising with Hana throughout.

"She's a woman returning to work after a big moment in her personal life, where what she had taken for granted has been compromised," said Sharp.

"As she steps back into the work arena, she immediately has to deal with this crisis around Nolan, and she's forced to handle this situation against the backdrop of workplace politics. Other people want her job. She's fighting fires on several fronts in a really controlled and mindful way. She's not someone who loses it easily, she's very good at keeping it together."

Where have I seen Lesley Sharp before? You might have watched her in Scott & Bailey, The Full Monty, Bob & Rose, Afterlife, Before We Die, Paranoid and Playing the Field.

Thomas Chaanhing as Chén

Thomas Chaanhing as Chén, stood up in the plane, with her arms crossed
Thomas Chaanhing as Chén. BAD WOLF FOR ITV AND ITVX

Who is Chén? The captain of the plane.

Where have I seen Thomas Chaanhing before? He's appeared in Swedish dramas 30 Degrees in February, Spegelvänd and De utvalda.

Jonathan Aris as John Tennant

John Tennant standing with his back against his desk
Jonathan Aris as John Tennant. BAD WOLF FOR ITV AND ITVX

Who is John Tennant? Delaney's "closest rival in MI5 whom she beat to get the top job". He challenges her every decision, which leads her to believe that he could have had a murky hand in Nolan's case.

Where have I seen Jonathan Aris before? You might recognise him from Sherlock, The End of the F***ing World, Lucky Man and Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.

Xiangyi Tan plays Tiffany

Tiffany walking through the airport in her air stewardess uniform
Xiangyi Tan plays Tiffany. BAD WOLF FOR ITV AND ITVX

Who is Tiffany? An air stewardess who may or may not be hiding something.

Where have I seen Xiangyi Tan before? This is her first major role.

Additional cast includes:

  • Oliver Maltman (Back, Liar) as Steven Hurst - one of Nolan's colleagues who also attended the conference, and Elizabeth's husband. Steven is asked to return to China for questioning.
  • Robert Gilbert (Big Mood, Big Boys, Killing Eve) as Simon King - Hana's boss and one of her closest friends.
  • Rick Warden (Happy Valley, Casualty, Indian Summers) as Chris Peele - a doctor who also attended the conference with Nolan and co. He refuses to return to China.
  • Aidan Cheng (Devils) as Wú - Chén's co-pilot.
  • Cash Holland (Out of Her Mind) as Ruth Banks - Madeline's secretary.
  • Kevan MacKenzie (Shetland) as Len Delaney - Madeline's husband, who's seriously ill and needs round-the-clock care.
  • Mido Hamada (Foundation) as Mike Maxwell - he works for a security service and is close with Madeline.
  • Tai Yin Chan (One Child) as Rén Yúnxi - a flight attendant
  • Daphne Cheung (Critical) as Mrs Ruǎn Yuè - a passenger on the plane who has a small dog with her.
  • David KS Tse (Chimerica) as Minister Aìguó Táng - a Chinese government official who negotiates with Madeline.
  • Ryan Cloud (Legend of Cambria) as Daniel Lomax - he's poisoned onboard the plane.
  • Ken Bradshaw (Coronation Street) as Officer Miller - a UK border agency official who apprehends and questions Nolan at the airport.

Red Eye premieres on ITV1 at 9pm on Sunday 21st April. Stream all episodes on ITVX after episode 1 airs.


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