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Ridley Road cast: Meet the actors and characters in BBC’s latest drama

Everything you need to know about the cast and characters in Ridley Road.

Ridley Road on BBC One

BBC One drama series Ridley Road is set in the 1960s and based on Jo Bloom’s novel of the same name. If you’ve been looking forward to it starting then we have good news, it begins tonight, Sunday 3rd October.

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The story focuses on Agnes O’Casey who plays the lead Vivien Epstein. Vivien is a young Jewish woman who goes undercover to infiltrate the National Socialist Movement (NSM), a neo-Nazi group that was assembled by Colin Jordan.

“Sarah Solemani has blown me away with the detail, sensitivity and complexity with which she has written Vivien. I can’t wait to bring this vital and little-known story to life” said Agnes about the role in the new drama.

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While we wait for the show to start tonight, here is all you need to know about the cast and characters of Ridley Road.

Agnes O’Casey plays Vivien Epstein 

Ridley Road
BBC

Who is Vivien Epstein? A young Jewish woman from Manchester who moves to the capital in search of a lost love, but who eventually goes undercover inside a facist organisation in the 1960s.

Where have I seen Agnes O’Casey before? The newcomer makes her television debut in the series, her previous work being on stage productions with Irish drama school The Lir Academy.

Tom Varey plays Jack Morris

Ridley Road
BBC

Who is Jack Morris? A young man from Vivien’s past, whose secret life in London she knows nothing about.

Where have I seen Tom Varey before? He’s known for The Village, Ackley Bridge, Game of Thrones (as Cley Cerwyn), and Pond Life.

Rory Kinnear plays Colin Jordan

Ridley Road
BBC

Who is Colin Jordan? The real-life fascist Colin Jordan led the NSM and was a prominent far-right voice until his death in 2009.

Where have I seen Rory Kinnear before? The award-winning actor is known for his role as Tanner in the James Bond film franchise, in addition to work in the likes of Years and Years, Catherine the Great, Brexit: The Uncivil War, Penny Dreadful and The Imitation Game.

Eddie Marsan plays Soly Malinovsky

Ridley Road
Ridley Road
BBC

Who is Soly Malinovsky? The fictional leader of an anti-fascist organisation by the name of 62 Group, who sends Vivien on her dangerous mission.

Where have I seen Eddie Marsan before? He’s known for The Gentleman, Happy-Go-Lucky, The World’s End, Deadpool 2, River, Ray Donovan and more.

Tracy Ann Oberman as Nancy Malinovsky

Ridley Road
Ridley Road
BBC

Who is Nancy Malinovsky? Soly’s wife, and aunt to Vivien; she’s also actively involved in Group 62.

Where have I seen Tracy Ann Oberman before? She’s known as Val Lewis in Friday Night Dinner, Rebecca in After Life, and talent agent Carol Carter in It’s A Sin. You may have also seen her as Chrissie Watts in EastEnders, in Grantchester and in Plebs.

Samantha Spiro as Liza Epstein

Ridley Road
Ridley Road
BBC

Who is Liza Epstein? Vivien’s mother in Manchester.

Where have I seen Samantha Spiro before? You’ll probably recognise her as Adam’s mum Maureen Groff in Netflix drama series, Sex Education. She’s also starred in Call the Midwife, Tracey Ullman’s Show, Me Before You, and London Spy.

Tamzin Outhwaite plays Barbara 

Ridley Road
BBC

Who is Barbara? She runs Oscar’s Salon in London, hiring Vivien in episode one.

Where have I seen Tamzin Outhwaite before? She’s probably best known as Mel Healy/Mel Owen in EastEnders, and has also starred in the likes of Red Cap and Hotel Babylon.

Ridley Road premieres on BBC One on Sunday 3rd October 2021 – here’s the full Ridley Road soundtrack for you to peruse before watching. While you’re waiting, check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.