Disney has announced some more cast for the anticipated eight-part series, “Rivals”, which is based on the celebrated novel by Jilly Cooper. The drama is being produced for Disney+ by Happy Prince, which is part of ITV Studios.

“Rivals” is part of Cooper’s bestselling Rutshire Chronicles, the iconic literary series packed full of wit, romantic entanglements, sex and unforgettable characters. The story is set against the backdrop of the drama, excess, and shocking antics of the power-grabbing social elite of 1980s England.  The series dives headfirst into the ruthless world of independent television in 1986. In the fictional county of Rutshire, a long-standing rivalry between two powerful men is about to boil over.

The series is going to star David Tennant, Alex Hassell, Aidan Turner and Danny Dyer.  Joining the cast for the upcoming series is Annabel Scholey (“The Split”), Maggie Steed (“Ten Percent”), David Calder (“Motherland”), Antony Byrne (‘”The Witcher”), Denise Black (“Queer as Folk”), Bryony Hannah (“Call The Midwife”), Olivia Poulet (“Back”) and Brendan Patricks (“Downton Abbey”).

Here are some details on some of the new cast and their characters:

  • Annabel Scholey plays Beattie Johnson, a ruthless Fleet Street journalist who will do anything for a story.
  • Maggie Steed plays Lady Gosling, the steely no-nonsense chair of Independent Broadcasters Association.
  • David Calder plays Lady Gosling’s dogmatic right-hand man, Fergus Penney,
  • Bryony Hannah plays Deirdre Kilpatrick, a TV researcher
  • Antony Byrne plays Ginger Baines, Tony’s unscrupulous enforcer.
  • Denise Black plays Joyce Madden, Tony’s pathologically loyal secretary,
  • Olivia Poulet plays as Hermione Hampshire
  • Brendan Patricks will star as Henry Hampshire.
  • Gary Lamont (“Boiling Point“) joins the cast as Charles Fairburn, a dryly funny TV controller;
  • Hubert Burton (“Living“) plays Gerald Middleton, Rupert’s besotted personal aide;
  • Gabriel Tierney (“Enola Holmes 2”) is Patrick O’Hara, an aspiring playwright.
  • Lara Peake (“Mood”) plays Daysee Butler a pretty but ditsy PA,
  • Milo Callaghan (“FBI International”) is Seb Burrows, a clean-cut young producer pretending to know what he’s doing.

The series is executive produced by Dominic Treadwell-Collins (‘A Very English Scandal’, ‘Holding’, ‘EastEnders’) and Alexander Lamb (‘The Bay’, ‘We Hunt Together’, ‘Ackley Bridge’), Felicity Blunt, Laura Wade, “Rivals” author Jilly Cooper and Director of Scripted Content for Disney+ EMEA Lee Mason. “Rivals” is produced by Happy Prince, which is part of ITV Studios and the series is written by Treadwell-Collins with Olivier Award-winner Laura Wade (‘The Riot Club’).

The lead director for “Rivals” is BAFTA-nominated Elliot Hegarty (‘Ted Lasso, Cheaters’, ‘Trying’), who also serves as executive producer on episodes 1-4. Eliza Mellor (‘The Midwich Cuckoos’, ‘Behind Her Eyes’, ‘Poldark’) serves as Series Producer. The UK original series will premiere on Disney+ in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

In addition to Treadwell-Collins and Wade, the series writers room also includes: Sophie Goodhart (‘The Baby’, ‘Sex Education’), Marek Horn, Mimi Hare & Clare Naylor (‘The Accidental Husband’), Dare Aiyegbayo (‘The Dumping Ground,’ ‘EastEnders’), Kefi Chadwick (‘Looted’, ‘Avoidance’), Tray Agyeman, and Sorcha Kurien Walsh (‘The Pink Pill’). The Casting Director is Kelly Valentine Hendry (‘Bridgerton’, ‘The Last Kingdom’, ‘Kaos’).

Are you looking forward to watching “Rivals”?  Let us know on social media!


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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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