Nothing But TV: Keeley Hawes, Sally Phillips, Jill Halfpenny join Channel 4's Year of the Rabbit

Channel 4’s up-coming comedy, Year of the Rabbit, has gone in to production with an outstanding guest cast.

The new 6x30 comedy, which is produced by Objective Fiction out of OMG Scotland with international partners IFC and all3media international, sees BAFTA-winning actor Matt Berry play Detective Inspector Rabbit, a hardened booze-hound cop in Victorian London. 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. 

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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: BandersnatchLine of Duty).

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Keeley Hawes said: “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.”

Sally Phillips commented: ““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.”

Jill Halfpenny added: “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.”

Year of the Rabbit is directed by BAFTA-nominated 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.