The Cuckoo start date and cast of new Channel 5 drama

The Cuckoo key art
The Cuckoo - Sian (JILL HALFPENNY)

The Cuckoo is the brand new primetime thriller coming soon to Channel 5.


When to watch

The Cuckoo starts on Monday, 8 April at 9PM on Channel 5. The four-part series then continues nightly throughout the week.

You’ll also be able to stream the series on My5.

Meet the cast

The series will spotlight Jill Halfpenny (The Long Shadow, Everything I Know About Love, The Holiday) in the role of Sian, a character with a knack for embedding herself in the lives of a married couple, Nick and Jessica, and their adopted child, Alice.

The Cuckoo cast - Nick (Lee Ingleby) and Alice (Fraya Hannah-Mills)
The Cuckoo – L-R Nick (Lee Ingleby) , Alice (Fraya Hannah-Mills)

The character Nick will be portrayed by Lee Ingleby (The Long Shadow, The Serpent Queen, The Hunt for Raoul Moat), Jessica by Claire Goose (The Bay, Unforgotten, Waking the Dead), and their daughter Alice by Freya Hannan-Mills (Swimming Home, Hereafter). Marjorie Yates (Shameless, Moving On, Allelujah) will also make an appearance as Aunt Fay.

What’s the plot?

The plot of The Cuckoo orbits around Sian, a lodger taken in by Nick and Jessica, a couple who’ve recently purchased their dream fixer-upper home in the town Jessica grew up in. But as they face financial setbacks, their dream home and lifestyle are jeopardized.

With their daughter, Alice, pulled out of her private school due to money constraints, and Nick’s new job still not bridging the financial gap, the couple is left with no choice but to welcome Sian as a lodger.

Jessica (Claire Goose) in The Cuckoo
The Cuckoo: Jessica (Claire Goose)

Yet, Sian isn’t just any lodger. With her alluring presence, she becomes a source of family strife – getting overly close to Nick, wearing Jessica’s outfits, and establishing a concerning relationship with Alice. As Jessica grapples with the mysterious identity of their new lodger, she soon realizes that there’s a darker, more twisted narrative at play, pushing the family into a fight for survival and unity.


Sebastian Cardwell, Deputy Chief Content Officer, UK at Paramount said of the show: “We’re thrilled to be teaming up again with Clapperboard to bring this tense and twisty series to our viewers.

“Equipped with a gripping script and household names Jill Halfpenny, Lee Ingleby, Claire Goose and Marjorie Yates as our lead cast, The Cuckoo (w/t) is another brilliant addition to our expanding drama slate.”

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