The Radio Times logo

Meet the cast of Strike: The Silkworm

Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger have a new case in the JK Rowling adaptation

Published: Friday, 8th June 2018 at 3:07 pm

Based on 2013 JK Rowling's 'Robert Galbraith' Strike novel The Silkworm, read on below to meet the actors and famous faces bringing the characters to life...


Tom Burke as Cormoran Strike

The titular private detective. An Afghan war veteran who lost a leg on duty and is, due to financial circumstance (a debt to his father) and a breakup, forced to move into his Denmark Street office. The case of a model who fell to her death has, however, revived his ailing fortunes, and he’s now a sought-after investigator.

Tom Burke continues his twenty-first century sleuthing after a run of period dramas for the BBC, first as the Musketeers’ Athos and then as War and Peace’s roguish Dolokhov. Other notable appearances have been in The Hour, Great Expectations and Utopia. On the big screen he was in Only God Forgives.

Holliday Grainger as Robin Ellacott

Strike’s recently-hired assistant, who has moved from Yorkshire since becoming engaged. Intelligent and competent, Robin is intrigued about the prospect of detective work.

Grainger is perhaps best known either for her role as Lucrezia Borgia in The Borgias, or as Lady Chatterley in the BBC’s 2015 adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s novel. She also played Bonnie Parker in the History Channel’s Bonnie and Clyde. She was in Mike Newell’s big screen version of Great Expectations, as well as featuring in supporting roles in The Riot Club, Disney’s Cinderella remake, The Finest Hours and My Cousin Rachel.

Natasha O’Keeffe as Charlotte Campbell

Strike’s ex-fiancée of several years. Extremely posh, beautiful and wealthy.

O’Keeffe has a regular role as Lizzie Stark on interwar gang saga Peaky Blinders. Before that, she broke out with a main role in the fourth and fifth series of Misfits. She also played the titular character in the Sherlock special The Abominable Bride.

Kerr Logan as Matthew Cunliffe

Robin’s smug fiancé, blessed with an uncanny proclivity to make everything about him.

Logan’s first big role was as Matthos Seaworth in Game of Thrones’ second season. He went on to appear in Irish shows 6Degrees and London Irish. Last year he was in the BBC’s My Mother and Other Strangers. This year may be his breakout year, with this role in Strike and another in Netflix’s Margaret Atwood adaptation Alias Grace.

Jeremy Swift as Owen Quine

A somewhat successful author with a series of grudges, Quine’s disappearance after writing a poisonous parody of his colleagues (called Bombyx Mori) sparks off Strike’s involvement in the case.

Swift is probably best known for his role as butler (and part-time housework columnist) Spratt in Downton Abbey, and other recent period drama roles include parts in The Durrells, Foyle’s War, The Crimson Field and The Moonstone. Swift has also appeared in Gosford Park, National Treasure, The Smoking Room and Vanity Fair among other productions, and is due to star in Mary Poppins Returns next year.

Monica Dolan as Leonora Quine

Owen’s long-suffering wife and carer to their disabled daughter Orlando.

Fans of BBC-themed sitcom W1A will be familiar with Dolan from her role as unimpressed Communications Officer Tracey Pritchard, while wider audiences may recognise her from a major role in 2016 Agatha Christie adaptation The Witness for the Prosecution. She has also starred in Catastrophe, Wolf Hall, Call the Midwife, Pride, Appropriate Adult and another JK Rowling adaptation – The Casual Vacancy – among other roles.

Sarah Gordy as Orlando Quine

Owen’s daughter, who reacts badly to her beloved father’s disappearance.

Gordy has appeared in a number of UK TV roles in recent years including Call the Midwife, Upstairs Downstairs, Holby City and Doctors. As a young actor, she had a role in Peak Practice.

Dominic Mafham as Jerry Waldegrave

Owen Quine’s browbeaten editor, who has stuck by the author over the years despite his poor attitude.

Mafham has previously appeared in Humans, Father Brown, Lewis, DCI Banks, Land Girls, The Clinic and Kingdom, and will soon play Polonius against Daisy Ridley’s Ophelia in the upcoming big-screen reversal of Hamlet concentrating on the Prince’s doomed lover.

Peter Sullivan as Andrew Fancourt

A former friend and rival to Quine, Fancourt has become one of Britain’s bestselling authors, though he’s haunted by the suicide of his wife.

Sullivan, who originally planned to be a lawyer until catching the acting bug, is currently appearing in Victorian murder mystery film The Limehouse Golem alongside Bill Nighy, and recently starred in Cuffs, Critical, The Scandalous Lady W and Indian Summers. He is also well known for roles in The Borgias, The Hour, The Bill and Wire in the Blood.

Tim McInnerny as Daniel Chard

The president of Roper Chard, Quine’s publishers, Daniel has some interesting theories about Bombyx Mori.

McInnerny rose to fame with lead roles in various incarnations of hit comedy Blackadder, and in recent years has starred in Doctor Who, National Treasure, Sherlock, Outlander, Utopia and Twenty Twelve, as well as films like Eddie the Eagle, Spooks: The Greater Good (reprising his role from the original TV series), Notting Hill and Johnny English Reborn. He can currently be seen among the cast of Game of Thrones as Lord Robett Glover.

Lia Williams as Liz Tassel

A failed writer turned literary agent, Liz’s longstanding loyalty to Owen Quine has left her unsuccessful and bitter.

Williams recently had a significant role in the 2016 series of the Missing, and played Wallis Simpson in Netflix’s The Crown. Prior to these parts she appeared in productions including Lewis, Secret State, Doc Martin, A Touch of Frost and Red Dwarf.

Sargon Yelda as DI Anstis

An old war buddy of Strike's who owes the private detective his life – even if that sometimes gets in the way of his investigation.

Yelda has had a variety of small roles in Midnight Man, Zen Masterpiece Mystery and Innocent, and played a businessman in James Bond movie Spectre.

Caitlin Innes Edwards as Ilsa Herbert

A schoolfriend of Strike’s who has become a lawyer, Ilsa is one of the detective’s few confidantes – and a crucial help in defending Leonora Quine.

Edwards has previously starred in The Halcyon, Casualty and Doctors, and had a role in David Tennant movie Mad to be Normal. She will return as Ilsa for the next TV Strike adaptation, Career of Evil, where she plays a more significant role.

Ian Attard as Nick Herbert

Ilsa’s husband and another of Strike’s closest friends.

Attard has previously appeared in EastEnders, Black Mirror and 2015 Michael Caine film Youth, and recently starred as Grand Theft Auto co-creator Dan Houser (with Daniel Radcliffe as his brother Sam) in BBC documdrama The Gamechangers. Like Edwards, he will return as Nick for the next Strike mystery.

Joey Batey as Al Rokeby

Strike’s half-brother on his father’s side, Al is a privileged but well-meaning young man struggling to live up to the legacy of rock legend Johnny Rokeby by becoming a DJ. He is the only contact Strike has with his father’s side of his family.


British actor Batey (he plays Al as American in Strike) has previously appeared in The White Queen, Mount Pleasant, Whitechapel and In the Dark, as well as 2014 film The Riot Club (which also featured Strike co-star Holliday Grainger). He is set to appear as Pierre in upcoming medieval drama series Knightfall.


Sponsored content