Channel 4 has added Keeley Hawes, Sally Phillips, and Jill Halfpenny to the cast of its upcoming comedy, Year of the Rabbit. Set in Victorian London, which is also where Bleeding Cool's own Rich Johnston lives, Year of the Rabbit stars Matt Berry as "hardened booze-hound cop," the titular Detective Inspector Rabbit. "He's aided and abetted by his new partner Wilbur Strauss (Freddie Fox) and the country's first female police officer, Mabel Wisbech (Susan Wokoma), as they bring justice to the streets of the east end," the show's description further explains.
Hawes, Phillips, Halfpenny and more join in the following roles (from a press release):
Alongside the crime-fighting trio, Keeley Hawes (Bodyguard, Misbehaviour) stars as the mysterious Lydia, Sally Phillips (Veep, Bridget Jones) is Princess Juliana of Bulgaria, and Jill Halfpenny (Three Girls, In the Club) features as Rabbit's ex, the deadly Flora.
Within the turmoil of the Whitechapel police station, Alun Armstrong (The Cane, Frontier) plays Chief Inspector Wisbech – who suffers two ways, as Rabbit's boss and Mabel's father – while Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones, Afterlife) plays Rabbit's nemesis, D.I. Tanner.
Also starring in the series are David Dawson (Last Kingdom, Ripper Street), Ann Mitchell (Call The Midwife, Widows), Alistair Petrie (The Night Manager, Sex Education), Matthew Holness (Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, Toast of London) and Craig Parkinson (Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, Line of Duty).
Said Hawes of joining the cast:
It's great to be working with Matt, Susan and Freddie on such a brilliantly original show. Lydia is such an enigmatic character. It's been a thoroughly enjoyable, bonkers experience.
While Phillips said:
I can report that there is literally nothing more pleasurable than playing a haughty, 19th Century, pansexual, Bulgarian autocrat with access to guns. I may have peaked.
I'm thrilled to be a part of Year of the Rabbit. It's an amazing creative team and I've had the best time making it.
Yo dawg, we heard you like excerpts from press releases, so we've put one more at the bottom of this article:
Year of the Rabbit is directed by Ben Taylor (Catastrophe, Sex Education) and written by Emmy and WGA Award-winners Andy Riley and Kevin Cecil (Veep, Black Books), with additional material from Matt Berry.
Ben Farrell and Toby Stevens will executive produce for Objective Fiction and Objective Media Group Scotland, with Hannah Mackay producing. The show was commissioned for Channel 4 by Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy, and Jack Bayles, Commissioning Editor.