Bridgerton season one arrived on December the 25th 2020 like a highly decorated Christmas gift. Unwrapped, it was a perfect confection of untaxing indulgence, romance and escapism. It told the story of Daphne and Simon, a debutante beauty and an emotionally repressed Duke who teamed up to get everybody off their backs, and who ended up getting on their own backs, and fronts, and sides, and – if I remember this correctly – halfway up the stairs and possibly at one point, a ladder? It was all a marvellous distraction from the real world, with excellent casting that threw open the fusty, cobwebbed door of racially homogeneous period drama to revitalise an over-familiar world.
Now it’s back for season two, with a new romantic plot-line and a bunch of new characters. Here’s who we’ll be meeting across the eight episodes, plus the major returning cast being welcomed back. Read our season one recap here.
Simone Ashley as Kate Sharma
Kate is one of the new Sharma family, guests of Bridgerton‘s influential Lady Danbury (played by Adjoa Andoh), who is sponsoring the debut season of Edwina, Kate’s younger half-sister. The sisters and Lady Mary Sharma arrive in London from Bombay (as Mumbai was once known) seeking a love match for Edwina. Kate is played by Simone Ashley, best recognised so far as Olivia Hanan, one of popular clique ‘the Untouchables’ in Netflix high school comedy-drama Sex Education. Ashley also starred in ITV supernatural murder mystery The Sister opposite Russell Tovey, played waitress Dana in Broadchurch season three, and had various supporting roles after making her screen debut as local reporter Zuhra in CBBC drama Wolfblood in 2016.
Charithra Chandran as Edwina Sharma
Edwina Sharma is the young debutante who comes to England to find a husband under the watchful eye of her mother and older sister. She’s a pet of Lady Danbury and proves popular among “the ton”. She’s played by Charithra Chandran, for whom this is her major screen role to date, after making her debut in Amazon Prime teen-adventure drama Alex Rider. Prior to Bridgerton, Chandran played Sabina Pleasance in the Alex Rider‘s second season, a character who becomes Alex’s love interest, inspired by the book character Sabina Pleasure.
Shelley Conn as Lady Mary Sharma
Edwina’s mother Lady Mary faces some gossip upon her return to London surrounding her original departure years earlier, proving what a long memory “the ton” has. In the name of Edwina’s marriage prospects though, her mother must play the game. Mary Sharma is played by Shelley Conn, who boasts a healthy stage and screen career, including several seasons at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and a forthcoming role as a denizen of hell in Good Omens season two. She’s recently appeared in Netflix’s The Irregulars, BBC’s Liar and Channel 5’s The Deceived, in addition to previous roles in Mistresses and an early part opposite Matt Smith in 2007’s Party Animals.
Rupert Young as Jack
Jack is played by Rupert Young, who’s had a range of screen roles on British television including the returning character of Knight of the Round Table Sir Leon in BBC One fantasy adventure series Merlin. Young has also appeared in recent years in The White Queen, The Good Karma Hospital and feature film The Secret Garden. His role in Bridgerton season two is being kept under wraps until after the premiere.
Calam Lynch as Theo Sharpe
Theo Sharpe is a printer’s assistant with a quick mind and fierce political beliefs who falls into the path of one of Bridgerton‘s young ladies. He’s played by Calam Lynch, whom Derry Girls fans might recognise as John Paul, the boy lusted after by Erin Quinn. Lynch has also appeared in feature films Dunkirk and Black Beauty, and Terrence Davies’ 2021 film Benediction.
Rupert Evans as Lord Edmund Bridgerton
Edmund Bridgerton, the father of the eight Bridgerton siblings, died suddenly in 1803, leaving his beloved wife and children bereaved. Season two flashbacks to before the patriarch’s death will feature Rupert Evans in the role. Evans played Harry Greenwood in the Charmed reboot (pictured above), Frank Frink in Amazon Prime Video alt-history drama The Man in the High Castle, and has appeared in several UK period dramas including Fingersmith, North and South, Emma, and The Village.
Also new to season two are Anthony Head (Merlin, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Shobu Kapoor (Lady Parts, EastEnders) as Lord and Lady Sheffield, the maternal grandparents of Edwina Sharma.
The major surviving characters excluding Rege Jean-Page are back for season two. Prepare to re-welcome Julie Andrews as the voice of anonymous society commentator Lady Whistledown, Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury, and Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte. Polly Walker and Ruth Gemmell return as the Dowager Countess Bridgerton and Lady Portia Featherington. Jonathan Bailey is the eldest Bridgerton sibling Anthony, Claudia Jessie and Nicola Coughlan are pals Eloise Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington, Lukes Newton and Thompson are Colin and Benedict Bridgerton, with Florence Hunt and Phoebe Dynevor as their sisters Hyacinth and Daphne (who’s in a much reduced role this time as the story pivots to focus on her brother Anthony’s love life), and Will Tilston as brother Gregory Bridgerton. Harriet Cains and Bessie Carter are back as Penelope’s sisters Prudence and Philippa, with Lorraine Ashbourne as the Featherington maid Varley, and Ruby Barker as Lady Crane, formerly Marina Thompson. Katheryn Drysdale plays the modiste Mme Delacroix, with Martins Imhangbe and Emma Naomi as former boxer Will and his wife Alice, and Joanna Bobin and Jessica Madsen as the superficial Cowpers.
Bridgerton season 2 is available to stream on Netflix from Friday March 25th.