We already knew that upcoming Disney Plus series Rivals boasted a cast full of familiar faces, but further casting additions have been announced, only notching up the excitement for the Jilly Cooper adaptation.


The eight-part drama is based on Cooper's iconic novel of the same name, which is based in '80s England and follows the cut throat world of independent TV in 1986, seen in the series (and the book) through the lens of Corinium television.

Now, joining the cast for the series are well-known actors from the likes of some of TV's best shows, including The Split, Motherland, Call the Midwife and Downton Abbey.

Annabel Scholey plays Nina in The Split
Annabel Scholey plays Nina in The Split

The new confirmed cast members include Annabel Scholey (The Split), Maggie Steed (Ten Percent), David Calder (Motherland), Antony Byrne (The Witcher), Denise Black (Queer as Folk), Bryony Hannah (Call The Midwife), Olivia Poulet (Back) and Brendan Patricks (Downton Abbey).

Elsewhere, as reported by Variety, Gary Lamont (Boiling Point) joins the cast as Charles Fairburn, a dryly funny TV controller; Hubert Burton (Living) will play Gerald Middleton, Rupert’s besotted personal aide; and Gabriel Tierney (Enola Holmes 2) is Patrick O’Hara, an aspiring playwright.

Mood's Lara Peake plays Daysee Butler, "a pretty but ditsy PA", while Milo Callaghan (FBI International) is Seb Burrows, a "clean-cut young producer pretending to know what he’s doing".

Read more:

They join the previously announced ensemble which includes Alex Hassell (The Tragedy of Macbeth, The Boys) and David Tennant (Doctor Who, Good Omens) who star as embittered rivals and leads, Rupert Campbell-Black and Lord Tony Baddingham.

But that's not all, the cast for the new Disney Plus series also includes Aidan Turner (Poldark, The Suspect) as Declan O’Hara, an intelligent TV presenter who's been convinced to leave the BBC for Corinium TV and who embarks on a revenge mission of his own.

More like this

Also joining the cast is Victoria Smurfit (Bloodlands, Once Upon A Time) as his wife, Maud O'Hara. Nafessa Williams (Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody), Katherine Parkinson (Humans), Oliver Chris (The Crown), Lisa McGrillis (Maternal) and Danny Dyer also join the cast.

Claire Rushbrook (Sherwood), Luke Pasqualino (Skins), Emily Atack (The Emily Atack Show) and Rufus Jones (W1A) round out the cast.

We're sure that if the racy book the new series is based on is anything to go by, we're in for a veritable treat of a series with rivalries, sex and scandal most definitely on the cards.

Speaking about the initial casting announcement made in March, Jilly Cooper, Rivals author and executive producer for the series, said: "I’m utterly enchanted to be able to announce our all-star line-up for Rivals. 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 Plus now for £7.99 per month or £79.90 for a full year.

If you're looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide and Streaming Guide. Visit our Drama hub for all the latest news.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 12 issues for only £1 with delivery to your home – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.