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Better: Cast announced for new BBC One drama

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Casting has been announced for new BBC One drama Better.

Produced by SISTER (Chernobyl, This is Going to Hurt), the new five-part thriller is written by Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent (Humans, Spooks).

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Leading the cast of the Leeds-based drama will be Leila Farzad (I Hate Suzie, Avenue 5) as DI Lou Slack and Andrew Buchan (Broadchurch, The Honourable Woman, ABC Murders) as Col McHugh.

A teaser shares: "19 years ago, when Lou was a young police officer at her lowest ebb and Col a low-ranking but ambitious newcomer to the Leeds underworld, their paths crossed, and they struck a deal that changed their lives forever. The bargain allowed Col to become very rich and very powerful, and Lou to turn around her failing career.

"A complex but special bond between the pair was forged, and so began Lou’s gradual slide into corruption. It started slowly, almost imperceptibly – small favours for Col here and there in return for tip offs, a little money to help her through some tough times – but over time her criminality seeped into every aspect of Lou’s life and morphed into something far more sinister and dangerous as the stakes grew.

"But now, when Lou’s family is brought to the brink of a tragedy that would tear apart everything she has built, she finds her conscience, for so long repressed, awakening. In determining to put right the wrongs that she has spent years rationalising and excusing, to have a second chance at a new, better life, she must first confront her own moral and ethical failings.

"To find her redemption she must bring down the man she has come to love like a brother. The man she has helped place at the head of Leeds criminal underworld. But while Col is a dangerous enemy to make, Lou’s biggest battle may yet be with herself."

Also joining the cast are Samuel Edward-Cook (Peaky Blinders) as Ceri, Lou’s husband, and Zak Ford-Williams (Wolfe) as Owen, their teenage son.

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Ceallach Spellman (Cold Feet) plays Donal, Col’s son, and Carolin Stoltz (Liar) plays Alma, Col’s wife.

Further cast are Anton Lesser (Killing Eve, The Trial of Christine Keeler) as Vernon, and Olivia Nakintu (Vera) as D.C. Esther Okoye, Lou’s closest colleague on the force.

Leila Farzad said: “Better is a brilliant fresh take on the morality tale. I am excited to have the opportunity to play Lou Slack, the vehicle through which we explore the multivalent layers of good and bad. A complex, flawed yet utterly human character. I feel very lucky to be a part of such a wonderful show with an incredibly talented team attached to it.”

Writers and Executive Producers Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent added: "We’re delirious and feel incredibly fortunate to have assembled - with SISTER and the BBC - such a gifted group of people to tell this story in the great city of Leeds, with a wealth of local Yorkshire talent on and off camera.

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"This incredible cast are exciting us every day, pushing the show’s exploration of morality and redemption to ever more thrilling, surprising, and yet darkly funny places. With any luck, we’ve got enough brilliant people to make ourselves look good."

An air date for the series is to be announced.

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