The Outlaws is finally back with its third and (possibly) final season, which throws our loveable group of community service workers into another life or death conundrum.


This time, the inciting incident is the sudden return of their wayward friend, Rani (Rhianne Barreto), who appears out of nowhere with a dead body in her car. Yikes!

The hapless group are clueless over how to handle that unpleasant surprise, but it's the least of their worries when they learn that notorious drug lord The Dean (Claes Bang) is itching for revenge against them too.

If you're excited to dive into The Outlaws season 3 – streaming now on BBC iPlayer and airing Thursdays on BBC One – then read on for an overview and reintroduction to the key characters, and the actors who play them.

The Outlaws season 3 cast

Here is the full cast list for The Outlaws. Read on for more information about the actors and the characters they play.

More like this
  • Rhianne Barreto plays Rani
  • Jessica Gunning plays Diane
  • Gamba Cole plays Ben
  • Stephen Merchant plays Greg
  • Darren Boyd plays John
  • Clare Perkins plays Myrna
  • Eleanor Tomlinson plays Gabby
  • Christopher Walken plays Frank
  • Charles Babalola plays Christian
  • Claes Bang plays The Dean
  • Richard E Grant plays The Earl
  • Ian McElhinney plays John Snr

Rhianne Barreto plays Rani

Rani takes off her coat hood, with blood splattered across her hands and face
Rhianne Barreto in The Outlaws season 3. BBC / Big Talk / Alistair Heap

Who is Rani? Rani is an intelligent A-Level student who had secured a full scholarship to study at Oxford University when she was caught shoplifting and sentenced with a community service order. That's where she met Ben and fell in love, helping him out of a dangerous situation involving some stolen drug money.

However, when it came time for them to start a new life in Weston-super-Mare, she ran out on him, having acquired a taste for a thrill-seeking life of crime.

What else has Rhianne Barreto been in? Barreto appeared opposite Keeley Hawes in ITV's hard-hitting factual drama Honour in 2020. She has also appeared in Amazon Prime Video's Hanna and early lockdown experiment Isolation Stories. More recently, she co-starred in Paramount Plus thriller No Escape, which was a very good show – but alas, has since been pulled from the service.

Jessica Gunning plays Diane

Diane (Jessica Gunning) from "The Outlaws" is seen in a blue security uniform and cap, pointing and speaking with a serious expression, set against a blurred, leafy background.
Jessica Gunning plays Diane in The Outlaws. BBC / Big Talk / Alistair Heap

Who is Diane? Diane initially met the so-called 'outlaws' as their probation officer, who supervised the group as they put in their community service hours and attempted (unsuccessfully) to enforce some very strict rules. Since then, she has become a police community support officer and remains determined to become an ace detective.

However, she does have a tendency to miss important things that are going on right under her nose.

What else has Jessica Gunning been in? The actor gained international recognition for her recent performance as Martha in Richard Gadd's hard-hitting comedy-drama Baby Reindeer. Prior to that, she was known for roles in David Mitchell and Robert Webb's sitcom Back, Prime Suspect 1973, Fortitude, Inside No. 9 and Law & Order: UK.

Gamba Cole plays Ben

Ben sits on a hotel room bed, with a troubled expression on his face
Gamba Cole stars in The Outlaws season 3. BBC/Big Talk/Matt Frost

Who is Ben? Ben is a member of the community service group. For much of season 1, he goes by the name of Christian, as he is secretly completing hours on behalf of an associate. When this scheme is discovered, he is slapped with his own sentence for impersonating someone.

The experience is made a little more tolerable by his feelings for Rani, with whom he strikes up a friendship that soon blossoms into romance. However, her appetite for dangerous situations troubles him.

What else has Gamba Cole been in? Cole's previous projects include Amazon Prime Video's streaming remake of Hanna, Netflix's acclaimed horror flick His House, and Sky fantasy series A Discovery of Witches. Most recently, he played Ty in BBC One's Death in Paradise and Gregory in Lenny Henry's Three Little Birds.

Stephen Merchant plays Greg

Greg (Stephen Merchant) looks worriedly at someone in a courtroom, with Lady Gabby (Eleanor Tomlinson) standing out of focus behind him
Stephen Merchant stars in The Outlaws. BBC/Big Talk/Alistair Heap

Who is Greg? Greg is a lawyer who is part of Rani's group of outlaws. He is not very respected or accomplished at his law firm, frequently being the subject of ridicule by his unkind colleagues. However, he does gain some clout after wealthy socialite (and fellow community service worker) Lady Gabby becomes his client.

In season 3, he has gone independent and is representing her in a legal case against her cold, calculating father.

What else has Stephen Merchant been in? Merchant rose to fame for his collaborations with former writing partner Ricky Gervais, with whom he co-created The Office, Extras and Life's Too Short. Since they went their separate ways, he has had starring roles in HBO's Hello Ladies, Marvel's Logan and awards contender Jojo Rabbit.

Darren Boyd plays John

Myrna stands close to John, looking concerned on a dark night in the forest
Clare Perkins and Darren Boyd star in The Outlaws season 3. BBC/Big Talk/Simon Ridgway

Who is John? John is an irritable man who once ran a business in partnership with his nasty father, but has become an Uber driver since that relationship thoroughly soured. He is known for his generally right-wing, socially conservative views and a temper that can occasionally flare up, but nevertheless has struck up an unlikely friendship with left-wing activist Myrna.

What else has Darren Boyd been in? Boyd is a familiar face on British television, having previously starred in several projects for Sky, including Spy, Fortitude and Stan Lee's Lucky Man. More recently, he has appeared in Killing Eve and The Salisbury Poisonings, while his big screen work includes Bridget Jones's Baby and The Personal History of David Copperfield.

He currently stars in Apple TV+ comedy-drama Trying.

Clare Perkins plays Myrna

Clare Perkins in The Outlaws season 2
Clare Perkins in The Outlaws season 2. BBC

Who is Myrna? Myrna is another member of the community service group. She has left-wing political values and often clashes with John, whose own beliefs tend to be the opposite, but they maintain a form of camaraderie anyway. Myrna is haunted by an act of protest she carried out in the 1980s, which inadvertently caused the death of a policeman.

What else has Clare Perkins been in? Perkins is known for her soap opera work, having played Denise Boulter in Channel 5's Family Affairs and Ava Hartman in BBC One's EastEnders. She was recently seen in Prime Video's fantasy drama The Wheel of Time and Apple TV+ thriller Suspicion, while she has also voiced Denise Metcalf in BBC Radio 4's The Archers.

Eleanor Tomlinson plays Gabby

Lady Gabby in a courtroom wearing a white dress with an orange jacket draped over her shoulders, and a fancy white hat
Eleanor Tomlinson stars in The Outlaws season 3. BBC/Big Talk/Alistair Heap

Who is Gabby? Gabby is the wild daughter of a British earl, who has become a tabloid sensation for her appearances on reality television shows and frequent scandals, the latest of which has landed her in this community service programme.

Fortunately, by the time of season 3, she is recovering from various addictions and looking to make a fresh start, but to do so she needs to secure a promised inheritance from her father.

What else has Eleanor Tomlinson been in? Tomlinson is best known for playing Demelza in BBC One's recent Poldark adaptation, where she starred opposite Aidan Turner. Since then, she appeared in short-lived HBO drama The Nevers and sci-fi series Intergalactic, as well as period drama A Small Light, erotic thriller The Couple Next Door and emotional romance One Day.

Christopher Walken plays Frank

Frank (Christopher Walken) wearing a yellow apron while working in a cafe, holding a wired landline phone to his ear
Christopher Walken in The Outlaws season 3. BBC/Big Talk/David Scott Holloway

Who is Frank? Frank is a veteran criminal who has been in and out of the prison system for much of his life, which has led to estrangement from his daughter, Margaret, and grandson, Tom. He was on a path to redemption in their eyes, but sadly, due to a misunderstanding, was asked to leave them alone in season 2. Frank has respected their wishes and returned to the USA.

What else has Christopher Walken been in? Walken is a very prolific actor who has worked on some iconic Hollywood movies, including The Deer Hunter, Pulp Fiction and Catch Me If You Can.

More recently, he lent his voice to King Louie in Disney's live-action remake of The Jungle Book, played the sinister Emperor in Dune: Part Two and taken a role in high concept Apple TV+ drama Severance.

Charles Babalola plays Christian

Charles Babalola in The Outlaws season 2
Charles Babalola in The Outlaws season 2 BBC

Who is Christian? Christian was formerly a drug dealer working for The Dean. He coerced Ben into taking on his community service hours in season 1, threatening to recruit his younger sister if he refused to do so. Suffice to say, the two are now rivals.

What else has Charles Babalola been in? Babalola's previous projects include BBC One's Silent Witness and ITV's Bancroft and Broadchurch.

Claes Bang plays The Dean

Claes Bang in The Outlaws season 2
Claes Bang in The Outlaws season 2. BBC

Who is The Dean? Dean is a dangerous and powerful London crime boss, who the group had the misfortune of crossing paths with in season 1. They stole a huge amount of money owed to him, which put them firmly on his radar. But in season 2, they managed to get him arrested by planting drugs in his car. Now, he's on trial and their deception is under intense scrutiny.

What else has Claes Bang been in? The Danish actor will be best known to British viewers for playing the eponymous role of Dracula in Steven Moffat's three-part adaptation. He has also appeared in drama series The Affair and Claire Foy thriller The Girl in the Spider's Web, where he first worked with Stephen Merchant.

Most recently, he starred in Apple TV+ dramas Bad Sisters and The New Look, as well as acclaimed Viking revenge flick The Northman.

Richard E Grant plays The Earl

The Earl (Richard E Grant) sat in a courtroom with his arms crossed, looking angry, next to a man in a suit (his lawyer)
Adrian Lukis and Richard E Grant star in The Outlaws season 3. BBC/Big Talk/Alistair Heap

Who is The Earl? The Earl is Gabby's emotionally unavailable, cold-hearted father. He became her sole guardian after her mother died at a young age, but showed little sympathy for her struggles with addiction and has seemingly spent much of her inheritance.

What else has Richard E Grant been in? Grant's debut film performance in Withnail and I proved a star-making turn. Recently, he joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Tom Hiddleston's mega-hit Disney Plus series Loki, playing an older version of the title character.

On the big screen, he is known for Logan, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Everybody's Talking About Jamie and Can You Ever Forgive Me, the last of which earned him an Academy Award nomination.

Ian McElhinney plays John Snr

Ian McElhinney in The Outlaws
Ian McElhinney in The Outlaws. Big Talk/Four Eyes/Sam Taylor/BBC

Who is John Snr? John Snr is the father of John, who founded their family business many years ago to pass onto his son. But he has always belittled John and underestimated his abilities.

What else has Ian McElhinney been in? McElhinney portrayed Ser Barristan Selmy in the epic fantasy series Game of Thrones, while he also plays Granda Joe in acclaimed Channel 4 sitcom Derry Girls. His other recent projects include divorce drama The Split and Jed Mercurio-produced thriller Bloodlands.

Dolly Wells plays Margaret (seasons 1-2)

Dolly Wells
Dolly Wells. Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Who is Margaret? Margaret is Frank's daughter, who has had a difficult life due to his complete lack of support over the years. She reluctantly lets him stay at her home for the duration of his community service.

What else has Dolly Wells been in? Wells earned praise in 2020 for her performance as Van Helsing in Steven Moffat's reimagined version of Dracula, following it up with the role of Aunt Sadie in BBC One's The Pursuit of Love. Previously, she has made appearances in hit sitcoms Peep Show and The IT Crowd.

Nina Wadia plays Shanthi (seasons 1-2)

Nina Wadia
Nina Wadia. Mike Marsland/WireImage

Who is Shanthi? Shanthi is Rani's mother, who loves her dearly and is incredibly proud of her for getting into Oxford University on a full scholarship. When her daughter gets in trouble for shoplifting, she becomes extremely concerned that this brilliant opportunity will slip away from her.

What else has Nina Wadia been in? Wadia is known for her work on BBC soap opera EastEnders, where she played Zainab Masood for a period of six years. She has also worked in several comedy projects including Goodness Gracious Me and Still Open All Hours, as well as having a small role in Disney's recent live-action remake of Aladdin.

In 2021, she competed in Strictly Come Dancing but was the first celebrity to be voted off.

The Outlaws seasons 1-3 are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.


Check out more of our Comedy coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what’s on. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.