Rivals: David Tennant, Danny Dyer Set for Disney+ Jilly Cooper Adapt

Disney+'s adaptation of Jilly Cooper's classic 80s blockbuster novel Rivals has tapped David Tennant, Danny Dyer & Aiden Turner to star.

British author Jilly Cooper is practically an institution, and Disney+ is producing an adaptation of Rivals, her gossipy novel about the British media industry in the 1980s. The star-studded cast includes Doctor Who star David Tennant, Eastenders star Danny Dyer, and Poldark star Aidan Turner in the ensemble.

Rivals: David Tennant, Aiden Turner in Jilly Cooper Adapt for Disney+
"Rivals" publicity still, Disney+

Rivals is part of iconic author Cooper's bestselling Rutshire Chronicles and is set against the backdrop of the drama, excess and shocking antics of the power-grabbing social elite of 1980s England. In the fictional upper-class county of Rutshire, Rivals dives headfirst into the cutthroat world of independent television in 1986 when a long-standing rivalry between two powerful men is about to boil over: ex-Olympian, Member of Parliament, and notorious womanizer Rupert Campbell-Black (Alex Hassell) and his neighbor Tony Baddingham (Tennant), controller of the independent TV franchise Corinium Television. Turner will play TV presenter Declan O'Hara, a fierce intellectual with an even fiercer temper who is wooed to Corinium from the BBC, while Dyer is Freddie Jones, a self-made electrics millionaire. The trio feature in an ensemble cast that also includes Nafessa Williams, Bella Maclean, Katherine Parkinson, Victoria Smurfit, Claire Rushbrook, Oliver ChrisLisa McGrillis, Emily Atack, Rufus Jones, Luke Pasqualino, and Catriona Chandler.

Filmed in the UK, Deadline reported that the show will premiere on Disney+ in EMEA and Asia Pacific and on Star+ in Latin America. Cooper said the cast "features some of the best acting talent that the British Isles has to offer," adding, "I cannot wait to be on set and see them bring the characters I love so much to life."

The series is produced by Dominic Treadwell-Collins' (A Very English Scandal) indie company Happy Prince, and Treadwell-Collins is also executive producing and writing with Laura Wade. Alexander Lamb is also EP. The lead director is Elliot Hegarty (Ted Lasso), who also serves as executive producer on Episodes 1 to 3. Eliza Mellor (Poldark) serves as series producer.

In addition to Treadwell-Collins and Wade, the series writers' room also includes Sophie Goodhart (The Baby, Sex Education), Marek Horn, Mimi Hare and Clare Naylor (The Accidental Husband), Dare Aiyegbayo (The Dumping Ground, EastEnders), Kefi Chadwick (Looted, Avoidance), Tray Agyeman, and Sorcha Kurien Walsh (The Pink Pill).

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Adi TantimedhAbout Adi Tantimedh

Adi Tantimedh is a filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist. He wrote radio plays for the BBC Radio, “JLA: Age of Wonder” for DC Comics, “Blackshirt” for Moonstone Books, and “La Muse” for Big Head Press. Most recently, he wrote “Her Nightly Embrace”, “Her Beautiful Monster” and “Her Fugitive Heart”, a trilogy of novels featuring a British-Indian private eye published by Atria Books, a division Simon & Schuster.
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