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Ridley Road cast and first look from new BBC One thriller

Ridley Road

BBC One has revealed the cast and a first look for its brand new four-part thriller Ridley Road.

Award-winning writer Sarah Solemani (Barry, Aphrodite Fry) writes the series, adapted from the critically acclaimed novel of the same name by Jo Bloom.

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Ridley Road tells the story of a young Jewish woman, Vivien Epstein, played by Aggi O'Casey, in her first television role.

A synopsis shares: "After falling in love with a member of the 62 Group, she rejects her comfortable middle-class life in Manchester and joins the fight against fascism in London, risking everything for her beliefs and for the man she loves.

"Inspired by the struggle of the 62 Group, a coalition of Jewish men who stood up against rising neo-Nazism in post-war Britain, Vivien is working with them when she realises that Jack, her missing boyfriend has been badly injured.

"Vivien infiltrates the NSM, a neo-Nazi movement which is becoming increasingly prominent in London. As Vivien descends further into the fascist organisation her courage and loyalties are challenged."

Ridley Road will debut in 2021 with an exact release date to be confirmed.

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Aggi O’Casey says: “Sarah Solemani has blown me away with the detail, sensitivity, and complexity with which she has written Vivien. I can’t wait to bring this vital and little-known story to life.”

Playing Jack Morris, Tom Varey, adds: “I’m so proud to be working on such a powerful, beautiful, important story. The scripts are amazing, and I can’t wait to bring them to life. I’m excited to be in the company of actors that I have looked up to and admired for so long.”

Further cast includes Rory Kinnear (Years And Years) as Colin Jordan, leader of neo Nazi movement NSM; Eddie Marsan (Ray Donovan) as hot headed, sharp-witted cab driver Soly Malinovsky; Tracy-Ann Oberman (Friday Night Dinner) joins as Soly’s wife Nancy; Samantha Spiro (Sex Education) is Vivien’s mother, Liza Epstein.

Tamzin Outhwaite (EastEnders) plays Barbara Watson, the owner of a hair salon where Vivien gets a job Rita Tushingham (The Pale Horse) plays Nettie Jones, Vivien’s landlady in London and Danny Hatchard (EastEnders) plays Lee, Colin Jordan’s driver.

Writer, Sarah Solemani said: “A young hairdresser from Manchester makes an unlikely hero in this little known slice of British history. But in these unprecedented times, it is the unlikely heroes whose stories are now worth telling.

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"Britain's relationship with fascism is closer and more alive than we like to think. Fortunately, so too is our rich heritage of beating it. Honoured to bring the story of Ridley Road to the BBC and Masterpiece.”

Photo credit: Aggi O ‘Casey as Vivien Epstein in Ridley Road, photographer Ben Blackall.