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Meet the cast of Strike: Career of Evil

JK Rowling's third Cormoran Strike novel finally arrives on BBC1 – but who are the actors bringing the characters to life?

Tom Burke as Strike in Strike: Career of Evil
Published: Sunday, 4th March 2018 at 9:00 pm

Robert Galbraith's Cormoran Strike is back for the third in a series of crime-solving adventures, written by JK Rowling.


Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger reprise their roles as Strike and eager assistant Robin, who must race against time to figure out who has sent them a severed leg and murdered its owner.

Meet the friends and foes they'll encounter along the way...

Tom Burke as Cormoran Strike

Tom Burke as Cormoran Strike (BBC)

An Afghan war veteran who lost a leg on duty and is, due to financial circumstance (a debt to his father) and a break-up, 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 21st 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 appeared in Only God Forgives.

Holliday Grainger as Robin Ellacott

Holliday Grainger, Strike (BBC)

Originally Strike’s temporary assistant, Robin has now become a permanent fixture in the office. Intelligent and competent, she isn't afraid to push herself to the limits to help solve a case

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 and was Honor in The Hood Maker, part of Channel 4's Electric Dreams series. Grainger featured in Mike Newell’s big screen version of Great Expectations, as well as supporting roles in The Riot Club, Disney’s Cinderella remake, The Finest Hours and My Cousin Rachel.

Killian Scott as DI Eric Wardle

A policeman in the Met who helps Strike with his investigations

Irish actor Scott is most famous for his roles as Tommy in Love/Hate and Augustus Dove in Ripper Street. Other appearances have been in the Jack Taylor TV films starring Iain Glen, as well as ’71, Good Vibrations, Calvary and The Commuter alongside Liam Neeson.

Ann Akin as DS Ekwensi

Ann Akin as DS Ekwensi in Strike
Ann Akin as DS Ekwensi in Strike (BBC)

Ekwensi assists Strike and Wardle in their investigation

Akin has had roles in numerous TV series including The Commuter, Citizen Khan, Cold Feet, The Unforgotten, Law and Order, and You, Me and the Apocalypse.

Ben Compton as Shanker

A friend and former flatmate of Strike’s, who works in the illegal drugs trade and can help Strike find information about wanted people… for a price

Ben Crompton is currently best known for his role as Commander of the Night’s Watch ‘Dolorous’ Edd Tollett in Game of Thrones. He had roles in Man Stroke Woman, Pramface and The Suspicions of Mr Whicher. He also went inside a Dalek on a 2014 episode of Doctor Who, and was in ITV’s drama The Great Fire.

Kerr Logan as Matthew Cunliffe

Robin’s smug fiancé, blessed with an irritating 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. In 2016, he was in the BBC’s My Mother and Other Strangers. 2017 was a busy 12 months for the actor, who starred in Strike and in Netflix’s Margaret Atwood adaptation Alias Grace.

Jessica Gunning as Holly Brockbank

Jessica Gunning
Jessica Gunning (John Phillips/Getty Images)

Holly is connected to a former enemy of Strike's and blames the detective for her misfortune

Gunning will be a familiar face to fans of Law & Order: UK (she played Angela) and Prime Suspect 1973 (in which she played WPC Kath Morgan). She’s also appeared in Back as Jan, and Doctor Who, Trollied and White Heat among others.

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

Edwards has previously starred in The Halcyon, Casualty and Doctors, and had a role in movie Mad to be Normal starring David Tennant.

Ian Attard as Nick Herbert

Ian is 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 docudrama The Gamechangers.

Matt King as Jeff Whittaker

Matt King as Whittaker in Strike: Career of Evil (BBC, HF)

Whittaker was one al old boyfriend of Strike's mother Leda, and may have had something to do with her death

Best known for his fan-favourite role as "Super Hans" in Channel 4's Peep Show, King has also starred in Skins, Doctor Who, Paddington, The End of the ****ing World and In the Dark.

Andrew Brooke as Niall Brockbank

Strike star Andrew Brooke in Prime Suspect 1973 (ITV, HF)

A former Major in the army suspected of abusing his daughter, Brooke bears a deep grudge against Strike

Brooke is probably best known for his role as Ashley in E4 sitcom PhoneShop, thought he has also appeared in Doctor Who (where he played alien The Gunslinger), The IT Crowd, Babylon My Family, Da Vinci's Demons, Prime Suspect 1973 and films like Sherlock Holmes and The Mummy.

Suzanne Burden as Linda Ellacott

Suzanne Burden as Linda Ellacott in Strike: Career of Evil

Robin's mother Linda just wants the best for everyone

Burden has appeared in Waking the Dead, Midsomer Murders, Fresh Meat and Microsoap among other TV projects, and has co-starred with Bill Nighty for several of the BBC's Charles Paris radio dramas.


Strike: Career of Evil airs on BBC1 at 9pm from Sunday 25th February


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