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The Girl Before release date: Cast and latest news on the new BBC drama

BBC One and HBO Max's adaptation of JP Delaney's novel features an all-star cast, including Gugu Mbatha-Raw and David Oyelowo.

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 26:  Gugu Mbatha-Raw attends the premiere of Disney's

March 2021 saw the announcement of an upcoming psychological four-part thriller, courtesy of BBC and HBO Max: The Girl Before.


Based on JP Delaney’s 2018 bestseller of the same name, it is is set to be a twist-filled limited series starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and David Oyelowo, that has a woman questioning whether living in an impressive building with restrictive rules is worth the price – especially after finding out more about the mysterious events that happened prior to her arrival.

Here’s all we know about the series so far.

What is The Girl Before about?

With the housing crisis a constant feature in the news, many people will be able to relate to the main character Jane jumping at the chance to move into a beautiful, starkly modern house. Described as a minimalist haven, One Folgate Street is the creation of visionary designer Edward Monkford.

There’s just one catch: in order to stay in the house, occupants must abide by his list of exacting rules. Jane starts to feel the house changing her in unexpected ways, but when she makes the shocking discovery that her predecessor died in the house three years earlier, she’s forced to confront unnerving similarities in their situations.

As the two women’s timelines interweave, Jane begins to question if her fate will be the same as the girl before.

When will The Girl Before air on BBC One?

With the project currently in its early stages of development, there’s no confirmed air date for this four-part psychological thriller. When it does air, expect to find it on BBC One, with viewers in the US able to watch on HBO Max.

The Girl Before cast

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 08: David Oyelowo speaks onstage during the 33rd American Cinematheque Award Presentation Honoring Charlize Theron at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on November 08, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
David Oyelowo

So far, there’s an impressive cast list attached to the project, headed up by Gugu-Mbatha Raw and David Oyelowo.

Mbatha-Raw, known for her performances in films such as A Wrinkle In Time, Misbehaviour, Belle and Beyond The Lights, will play Jane while Emmy nominee Oyelowo will take the role of architect Edward.

On her involvement in the show, Mbatha-Raw says: “I’m so excited to work with this amazing team on such a compelling story in my debut role as actor/producer.”

Similarly, Oyelowo is equally looking forward to working on The Girl Before, explaining: “This story is mind-bending in its clever construction and intricacy. I can’t wait to see it, let alone be in it. Plus, I’d go anywhere to work with my friend Gugu again.”

Jessica Plummer
Jessica Plummer
Getty Images

The most recent addition to the cast is Jessica Plummer, who’ll star as Emma – the titular ‘girl before’. Fresh from EastEnders and I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here, Plummer will portray the fun-loving and confident character, who’s stuck working at an unfulfilling marketing job, and is less than satisfied with her partner.

Her tagline states: “For her, One Folgate Street’s stone walls represent security, safety and renewal. But Emma is hiding a dark secret and, living in the pressure cooker that is One Folgate Street, the truth will out in the end.”

Fellow EastEnders alum Ben Hardy has also signed onto the project to play Emma’s partner, Simon. From what we know so far, he’s besotted with Emma and counts himself lucky to have her. Unfortunately, he worries he’s not enough for her, and living in the minimalist haven of One Folgate Street heightens his insecurities even more.

Who else is involved in The Girl Before? 

As well as having written the book on which the series is based, JP Delaney serves as creator, writer and executive producer of the show. Marissa Lestrade (White Stork, Deep State 2) will co-write episodes of the series and Emmy-nominated Lisa Brühlmann (Killing Eve, Servant, Blue My Mind) will direct.

The Girl Before trailer

Sadly, there’s no trailer for The Girl Before as of yet – but we’ll update this page as soon as there is one!


The Girl Before is coming soon to BBC One. While you’re waiting, take a look at our other Drama coverage, or find out what else is on with our TV guide.