Plot, Cast, & Release Date Of Jilly Cooper Adaptation


It is a rather unlikely pairing, but have you ever thought about David Tennant and Danny Dyer sharing the stage? Or screen as the case may be. No, me neither. But the Disney+ Gods have seen to it that they do, as reported by Deadline, joining the star-studded ensemble of Rivals. An adaptation of Jilly Cooper’s legendary 1988 novel of the same name, the upcoming drama is one part of the author’s bestselling series Rutshire Chronicles, which charts the romance, thrill, and friction, in upper-class English establishment and the “cut-throat world of British television.” Read on to find out what more there is to know about Disney+’s Rivals, from the plot and cast, to the much-awaited release date.

Rivals Cast

Buckle in, because this cast is a doozy. Alex Hassell from The Boys will reprise the role of Rupert Campbell-Black, whilst David Tennant of Doctor Who fame will take on Lord Tony Baddingham. Joining the two leads are Aidan Turner, from Poldark and The Suspect, and Victoria Smurfit playing the role of his wife, Maud. The on-screen couple also parent Sex Education’s Bella Maclean and Pistol’s Catriona Chandler. Eastenders’ Dyer steps in to play the outsider Jones, and Lisa McGirllis plays his wife Valerie. The period drama will also feature Nafessa Williams, Katherine Parkinson, Oliver Chris, Claire Rushbrook, Luke Pasqualino, Emily Atack, and Rufus Jones.

Cooper, who will serve as Executive Producer, told Collider: “Featuring some of the best acting talent that the British Isles has to offer, I couldn’t have dreamed of a better ensemble cast. I cannot wait to be on set and see them bring the characters I love so much to life.”

Rivals Plot

Set in a fictional upper-class county of Rutshire in the ‘80s, the series will place viewers in the middle of a scathing rivalry between Rupert Campbell-Black and Lord Tony Baddingham. Both characters are described as “ambitious, egocentric, and charismatic” and go head-to-head to win in the independent world of TV, via Corinium Television.

As this bitter fight gains steam, the future of the network looks grim and all the people caught between the powerful crossfire suffer. This includes Declan O’Hara, a shrewd TV presenter and star who is seen making a transition from BBC to Corinium at the behest of Baddingham. However, when O’Hara sees the boss may not be able to deliver on his promises, he sets on a revenge mission of his own. The ensuing drama also embroils Freddie Jones, a self-made millionaire who often finds himself peering into the world of the wealthy. Besides career aspirations, the series will serve plenty of scandal, sex, and romance too.

Rivals Release Date

Per Deadline, the show will be filmed exclusively in the UK and is among the highest-profile projects created by the UK division of Disney+. Ted Lasso’s Elliot Hegarty will be the lead director and Laura Wade will write the scripts. Since the final details of the show were only recently confirmed, the drama doesn’t have a release date yet. Stay tuned for updates, we’ll surely keep up with all developments of this promising series.



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