Based on the beloved novel by Jilly Cooper, Rivals is certainly set to be quite the series – and we now have our first look at the much-anticipated Disney Plus show.


The eight-parter is set to bring the drama, as it centres on the ruthless world of independent TV in the '80s.

As well as power hungry dynamics to look forward to, the cast is full of familiar faces, from David Tennant to Danny Dyer and more.

Well, now we have been introduced to some of the cast in a slew of first-look images that tease some of the characters we're set to follow.

In one of the photos (above), we see Doctor Who star Tennant as Lord Tony Baddingham, controller of Corinium Television and the "single-mindedly ambitious and egotistical adversary" to Rupert Campbell-Black (played by The Boys' Alex Hassell), who we can also spy below.

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Now, Tennant fans will know he's quite the stellar chameleon when it comes to his variety of roles, but in his image, we see the Good Omens star in typical countryside wear and sunglasses while confidently holding a rifle with its ammunition slung over his shoulder.

Alex Hassell as Rupert Campbell-Black holding the leashes of multiple dogs while standing in the middle of a driveway with his white shirt open in Rivals.
Alex Hassell as Rupert Campbell-Black in Rivals. Disney Plus

Talk about a first impression, right? The same can be said for Hassell's Rupert, who is surrounded by dogs in the middle of what looks to be a country home driveway.

Described as a "dashing ex-Olympian, Member of Parliament, incorrigible rake, and dangerously charismatic", you can certainly get a sense of that from Hassell's stance in the image.

The series follows the feud between the pair, but caught in the crossfire of their drama is TV presenter and journalist Declan O’Hara, played by Aidan Turner.

In his first-look image, we see him sat on stage on set of his TV show in front of a live audience.

Rivals is set in the fictional county of Rutshire, and it's there that the tense rivalry between two men, Rupert and Lord Tony, starts to come to a head.

The show follows the world of TV through the lens of Corinium Television, whose future hangs in the balance.

As the drama between the two feuding men really starts to notch up, those around them are set to be dragged into the fight.

Aidan Turner as Declan O’Hara in Rivals sitting in a presenter's chair holding a card looking into camera
Aidan Turner as Declan O’Hara in Rivals. Disney Plus

One of those people will be Turner's Declan, who will be convinced by Baddingham (Tennant) to leave the BBC for Corinium TV.

However, he feels as though he's been duped when Baddingham doesn't deliver on his promises, and soon Declan is on a revenge mission of his own.

The rest of the cast also boasts Nafessa Williams (Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody) as Cameron Cook, a ferociously talented American TV executive who is brought to England by Tony to produce Declan’s new prime-time talk show.

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Here We Go's Katherine Parkinson is also Lizzie Vereker, "a romantic novelist suffering from a distinct lack of romance in her life", while Sex Education's Bella Maclean is Taggie O’Hara, "Declan’s tender-hearted yet strong-willed eldest daughter and unexpected temptation for Rupert".

The rest of the cast includes Emily Atack, Catriona Chandler, Oliver Chris, Danny Dyer, Rufus Jones, Lisa McGrillis, Luke Pasqualino, Claire Rushbrook and Victoria Smurfit.

The cast was previously announced last year, and at the time, novelist Cooper said: "Featuring some of the best acting talent that the British Isles has to offer, I couldn’t have dreamed of a better ensemble cast. I cannot wait to be on set and see them bring the characters I love so much to life.

"The minute we met with Alex, we knew he’d perfectly embody my all-time hero, the iconic, racy, ruthless and devastatingly handsome Rupert Campbell-Black. Viewers are in for a treat!"

Rivals will be released on Disney Plus. Sign up to Disney+ now for £7.99 per month or £79.90 for a full year.


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