As World on Fire returns for its second season four years after the first aired in 2019, there have been some major cast change-ups.


While stars such as Jonah Hauer-King and Lesley Manville have returned, others including Sean Bean and Helen Hunt are no longer involved - but there are new characters too.

One major star joining the series for this season is Mark Bonnar, who plays charming MI5 operative Sir James Danemere, and it seems that we are set to see Maville's steely Robina fall under his spell.

Speaking ahead of the new season, Maville teased: "Sir James, played by Mark Bonnar, is very gently wooing Robina, and she's not prepared for that at all. At first she’s wary - he's a good guy who's a bit edgy. But that makes her like him even more."

The cast of World on Fire season 2
The cast of World on Fire season 2. BBC/Mammoth Screen

She continued: "He's definitely a smooth operator, pulling out all the stops... he’s also a bit younger than me which makes me look really good!"

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Meanwhile, Bonnar said of Sir James and Robina's romance: "Sir James lays on the champagne and caviar and all the sweet treats. He’s obviously in the Chase family household ostensibly to carry out his work in Manchester, gathering information about potential spies, so as always in his line of work there's a kind of dual identity going on.

"When you’re working with someone you really admire like Lesley Manville, you find yourself upping your game. You might be surrounded by cameras, but you’re in a play, performing for an audience and telling a story, whilst also having fun doing it."

Bonnar has most recently been seen in series including The Rig, Litvinenko and the final season of Guilt, while Manville has starred in Citadel, Sherwood, Magpie Murders and the fifth season of The Crown playing Princess, a role she will reprise in the Netflix show's sixth and final season later this year.

World on Fire returns to BBC One and iPlayer on Sunday 16th July 2023. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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