Kay Mellor’s lottery drama The Syndicate has been off our screens for almost six years – but now it has finally returned BBC One for a fourth season.
As with each previous series, the new run tells a brand new story with a completely different cast line-up, and this time around the stars include Neil Morrissey, Joe Sugg, Emily Head, and a whole host of other recognisable names.
The ‘syndicate’ in question this time is a group of low-earning kennel workers (and canine enthusiasts) in Yorkshire who are informed by their newsagent that they have won a windfall in the lottery, which initially seems like great news. As the series develops, though, it soon transpires that things aren’t quite what they seem…
Here are the cast and characters for season four of The Syndicate.
Neil Morrissey plays Frank Stevenson
Who is Frank Stevenson? Frank works at the local newsagent owned by his fiancée, Cheryl. They’re meant to be getting married in three weeks and going on a honeymoon, but he is starting to having second thoughts. Frank works behind the counter selling lottery tickets, and he’s also a gambling enthusiast himself – but his enthusiasm for anything pales in comparison to his love for his Irish Wolfhound, Duke.
What else has Neil Morrissey been in? Well, where to start? Neil Morrissey is a very frequent face on our TV screens. He’s starred as Tony in Men Behaving Badly, as Deputy Head Eddie Lawson in Waterloo Road, as DC Nigel Morton in Line of Duty, and as Greg Mcconnell in The Good Karma Hospital. Other credits include Unforgotten series 3, Striking Out, Grantchester, The Night Manager, Penance, Skins, Bob the Builder (as a variety of voices), and Boon.
Katherine Rose Morley plays Keeley Sanderson
Who is Keeley Sanderson? A 23-year-old who is always skint and lives at home with her mother. Keeley is a compulsive gambler who is always hard up for cash, but a visit from a persistent debt collector in episode one gets her particularly worried. Keeley is tenacious, has the gift of the gab, and loves her job at Woodvale Kennels.
What else has Katherine Rose Morley been in? Her fist big breakout role was as Lucy Garner in The Mill. Since then, she’s starred in Thirteen (as Emma Moxam), Last Tango in Halifax (as Ellie), and Clink (as Chloe Anderson). Other credits include Call the Midwife, Vera, Moving On, and Little Crackers.
Kym Marsh plays Donna Sanderson
Who is Donna Sanderson? Keeley’s mother. She is a single mother-of-two who works as a cleaner on a zero hours contract, and she struggles to make ends meet. Donna adores her boyfriend Adam, even though Keeley isn’t a fan, and she loves a night at the bingo.
What else has Kym Marsh been in? Kym Marsh first rose to fame in the TV talent show Popstars, winning a place in the band Hear’Say in 2001 (known for such hits as Pure and Simple). After that, she began her acting career – starring as Michelle Connor in Coronation Street for more than a decade. In 2020 she played Angie Dyer in The Loss Adjuster.
Taj Atwal plays Roxy Varma
Who is Roxy Varma? We’re told: “Roxy works at Woodvale Kennels and still lives with her parents in a cramped house. She’s desperate to move out and find her own place, especially as she’s recently discovered that she’s pregnant. As someone who suffers from a septate uterus, Roxy thought she would never be able to have a child and she’s desperate to give her baby the best possible start in life. Unfortunately, her flaky boyfriend Sam isn’t quite as enthusiastic, but Roxy is sure that she can change his mind.”
What else has Taj Atwal been in? Like her The Syndicate co-star Neil Morrissey, Taj Atwal has starred in Line of Duty – playing PC Tatleen Sohota. She has also been seen in Cold Call, Truth Seekers, Pitching In, Stella, and In the Club.
Joe Sugg plays Sam
Who is Sam? Roxy’s “flaky boyfriend”. He is an aspiring musician and guitarist, but prefers to coast along (and cadge a bit of cash where he can). Although Roxy is pregnant, Sam clearly isn’t quite ready to start a family just yet.
What else has Joe Sugg been in? Joe Sugg first rose to fame as a YouTuber on his channel ThatcherJoe. (He is also the younger brother of YouTuber Zoe Sugg.) In 2018 he competed in Strictly Come Dancing and got all the way to the final; since then he has starred in the West End musical Waitress, and done a bit of voice work on various TV shows and movies. However, The Syndicate will be his first big TV acting job.
Kieran Urquhart plays Jake Thackery
Who is Jake Thackery? Jake works at Woodvale Kennels, and is a conscientious and dependable 26-year-old who is currently battling his ex girlfriend Georgina for custody of their young daughter Eva. He and Keeley have a close friendship, but does he wish it was something more?
What else has Kieran Urquhart been in? Credits include Vera and Humans, as well as the upcoming film Boiling Point and the upcoming TV drama The North Water.
Liberty Hobbs plays Gemma Hepworth
Who is Gemma Hepworth? We are told: “Gemma works at Woodvale Kennels, where she has a special schedule so that she can look after her ageing Nanna. Although Gemma is currently on a diet, she’s not very good at sticking to it and is always finding an excuse to treat herself to a slice of cake or some pizza. Bubbly and sweet, Gemma seems like the sort of person who wouldn’t hurt a fly. However, she’s actually still reeling from a family tragedy, and if she ever wins the lottery, she wants to use the money to get revenge on the person who hurt her, no matter the consequences.”
What else has Liberty Hobbs been in? In 2017 she appeared in a couple of episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, playing Candace Warner; other credits include The Awakening, Criminal Minds, and M.F.A.
Emily Head plays Colette Andrews
Who is Colette Andrews? Originally from Newcastle, Colette has been working for Woodvale Kennels for the last five years as the resident dog groomer. Colette is independent, a bit prickly, and doesn’t have any close friendships.
What else has Emily Head been in? You may recognise her as Rebecca White from Emmerdale, or as Carli D’Amato from The Inbetweeners. She’s also been seen in My Piece of the Pie, Rita, The Invisibles, Life, and Doc Martin.
Katie McGlynn plays Georgina Clarke
Who is Georgina Clarke? Jake’s ex girlfriend, and the mother of their daughter Eva – currently the subject of a custody battle. “Georgina didn’t like Jake’s mother and is resorting to every underhand tactic she can think of to make sure she wins the case,” says the BBC. “She will do anything, including telling blatant lies about Jake, to make sure she gets to keep Eva full time.”
What else has Katie McGlynn been in? The actress is best known for starring as Sinead in Coronation Street. She’s also been in Waterloo Road, playing Jodie ‘Scout’ Allen.
Mark Benton plays Graham Woods
Who is Graham Woods? Owner of Woodvale Kennels – at least, for now. He manages the kennels alongside his partner Keith, but they are starting to find that the business is putting too much strain on them (and keeping them away from their holiday home in Magaluf). If he decides to sell the kennels, that could put his employees’ jobs in danger.
What else has Mark Benton been in? Mark Benton is a prolific actor, whose credits include Shakespeare & Hathaway, Waterloo Road, The Halcyon, Early Doors, Northern Lights, and Barbara. He competed in Strictly Come Dancing back in 2013.
Gaynor Faye plays Cheryl Armitage
Who is Cheryl Armitage? Frank’s fiancée. She owns the newsagent where the syndicate have bought their lottery tickets for the past three years.
What else has Gaynor Faye been in? She spent seven years playing Megan in Emmerdale, and has also been seen in Dani’s House, The Chase (i.e. the TV drama, not the game show), Fat Friends, Between the Sheets, Coronation Street (as July Mallett), and Playing the Field. She won Dancing on Ice in 2006.
Oliver Anthony plays Theo
Who is Theo? Younger brother of Sam (Roxy’s boyfriend). Theo is currently doing work experience at Woodvale Kennels, and he hopes to train as a vet one day.
What else has Oliver Anthony been in? The young actor played Tommy in the TV series My Left Nut.
Lorraine Bruce plays Denise Simpson
Who is Denise Simpson? A representative for Mercury Millions, who is actually a former lottery winner herself who delights in telling winners that their dreams have come true. She recently lost her mother, and is in a vulnerable place.
What else has Lorraine Bruce been in? She played Miss Barnes in White Gold, Mistress Harding in Will, and Denise Dibinksy in Lucky 7. Lorraine Bruce also made a recent guest appearance in an episode of Vera, playing Carmel Sumner.
Sabrina Sandhu plays Taj
Who is Taj? Taj helps out at Cheryl’s newsagent, and the two women get along great. But when Taj realises that Cheryl is lying to the lottery investigators, she is torn – she wants to do the right thing, but speaking out could put her job at risk.
What else has Sabrina Sandhu been in? She previously appeared on Diddy TV. Theatre credits include Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.
Jonathan Kerrigan plays Richard Fairburn
Who is Richard Fairburn? A handsome, successful businessman (and dog owner) who shows an interest in Colette.
What else has Jonathan Kerrigan been in? Jonathan Kerrigan played Neil in the TV series In the Club, Stuart Carew in The Five, and Jonny in Lucky Man. He guest starred in a 2019 episode of Death in Paradise, playing Xander. Other credits include Heartbeat, Merseybeat, and Casualty.
Yan Tual plays the investigator, Pierre Moreau
Who is Pierre Moreau? We meet him as a shadowy figure who is shadowing Frank in Monaco.
What else has Yan Tual been in? The French actor appeared in Outlander in 2019, playing Father Alexandre Ferigault. Other credits include Riviera, Servir y Proteger, and Nasdrovia.
Jordan Waller plays Michel
Who is Michel? Michel works on the front desk at the Hotel Metropole.
What else has Jordan Waller been in? You’ll probably know him from ITV drama Victoria, in which he starred as Lord Alfred Paget, or from Darkest Hour, in which he played Randolph Churchill.
Steve Cooper and Angela Lonsdale play Mr & Mrs Levine
Who are Mr & Mrs Levine? Owners of an overweight sausage dog who’s been staying at Woodvale Kennels.
What else has Steve Cooper been in? He’s PC Tyms in Coronation Street, and has also appeared in Car Share, No Offence, Our Zoo, In the Flesh, and Emmerdale.
What else has Angela Lonsdale been in? Angela Lonsdale has recently appeared in Run (as Leanne) and Our Girl (as Grace Lane). She previously starred as Eva Moore in Doctors.
Ruben Reuter plays Shane Sanderson
Who is Shane Sanderson? Keeley’s 16-year-old brother, with whom she is very close. “Passionate about animals, Shane loves nature documentaries, collects stuffed animals and his biggest dream is to go on an African safari,” we’re told. “He was born with Down’s Syndrome, and his desire to make everyone happy means that he often ends up caught in the middle of arguments between his strong-willed mum Donna and his sister.”
What else has Ruben Reuter been in? He stars as Finn McLaine in TV show The Dumping Ground.
Ava plays Duke the dog
Who is Duke? Frank’s beloved dog. Duke needs a lot of exercise and attention, and so he spends a lot of time at Woodvale Kennels while Frank is at work.
What else has Ava been in? Ava’s full name is Ava Bligh, and she is an Irish Wolfhound. She is seven years old, and she loves sausages. The Syndicate is her first big acting break, and she writes on Instagram: “I am going to be famous real soon” and “I loved working with Neil he was very nice with me.”