The latest drama from the BBC, written by award-winning Abi Morgan, centres around a successful family of divorce lawyers and the struggles they face at work as they delve into their clients’ private lives whilst trying to maintain the perfect balance of compassion and professionalism.
At the core of the plot is Hannah Stern, played by Nicola Walker , who has broken away from the family firm Defoe after her mother refused to hand over control, to join the larger company Noble & Hale.
But while Hannah is dealing with the marital strife of others, she’s neglected her own with husband Nathan, played by Stephen Mangan .
The cast is largely female led and according to the Radio Times, 80 per cent of the heads of department in production were female, which is rare for a prime time BBC drama, but perhaps a sign of the changing times.
Let’s meet the cast…
Nicola Walker as Hannah Sterne
Nicola is a glamorous, confident lawyer who has bravely jumped ship from the family company to join a rival.
She manages to show her clients a warm side as she keeps up the professionalism required in such a responsible position. Nicola met some real life lawyers to research the role.
Whlie she may be an expert at work, her home life needs more attention and she has begun questioning her own marriage.
Nicola has previously starred in Four Weddings and a Funeral, Touching Evil, Unforgotten, Spooks, Last Tango in Halifax and Collateral among many other TV and stage shows.
Stephen Mangan as Nathan Sterne
Nathan is as likeable as his wife and the couple share three children. He told the Radio Times why the seemingly perfect couple aren’t happy.
“It’s gone a bit stale, work has taken over family life and everything’s so busy, but like a lot of marriages we’ve taken it for granted.”
Stephen is a well known face and has starred in a lot of hit shows, such as Green Wing, I’m Alan Partridge and Epsiodes.
Deborah Findlay as Ruth Defoe
No nonsense Ruth is head of the female divorce lawyer firm Defoe. She raised her three daughters alone after her husband left the family when they were young and never returned.
Hannah has struggled with her mother’s refusal to hand over the company and step down.
As Ruth hits her milestone 70 birthday, she has the shock of her life when her husband returns.
Deborah’s previous credits include Collateral, alongside Nicola as Eleanor Shaw, The Lady in the Van, Hampstead, Agatha Christie’s Poirot and the original Top Girls.
Anthony Head as Oscar
Possibly the least popular character in the drama, Scott walked out on his wife and young family 30 years previously with no explanation, so his return isn’t exactly welcome.
He approaches Hannah in a park and gives her a card for Ruth’s birthday.
Anthony’s previous hits include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as Rupert Giles, Merlin, Girlfriends and the Prime Minister in Little Britain.
He is due to star in vanity Fair.
Annabel Scholey as Nina Defoe
Hannah’s younger sister is Nina and she still works at the family firm Defoe. She carries the genetic trait of being a strong woman and is also a bit of a flirt.
She has recently starred in Being Human, Britannia and Medici: Masters of Florence.
Fiona Button as Rose Defoe
Rose is the youngest of the daughters and has not chosen to go into law. She is a nanny and is seen trying to work out what she really wants to do.
She’s engaged to James.
Fiona has previously starred in Grantchester, My Mother and Other Strangers, Outcasts, Midsomer Murders and lots of theatre.
Stephen Tompkinson as Davey McKenzie
Davey is a successful sportswear businessman who is divorcing his childhood sweetheart Goldie.
He asks Hannah’s firm Noble & Hale to handle his case.
Telly favourite Stephen has been in many hits most notably DCI Banks as DCI Banks, Drop the Dead Donkey, Ballykissangel and Chancer.
Meera Syal as Goldie McKenzie
Goldie has no idea her husband wants to split and she is left fighting for her right to the family business whilst battling her heartache.
Meera is best known for being one of the creators of Goodness Gracious Me and played the grandmother in The Kumars at No 42.
She has also been in Broadchurch and Paddington 2.
The Split starts on Tuesday April 24 on BBC1 at 9pm and continues for six weeks.
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