BBC’s Ridley Road is the new thriller that is set to be our next period drama obsession

BBC’s new thriller Ridley Road is based on shocking true events and set in the swinging sixties

Ridley Road
(Image credit: BBC)

BBC’s Ridley Road, based on the Jo Bloom novel of the same name, is set to be released later on this year and we already know that this series will be our next big obsession. 

The BBC is creating a TV series based on Jo Bloom’s best-selling novel Ridley Road and it already looks set to be one of the best book-to-screen adaptations ever.

The series doesn't yet have an official release date but the BBC has confirmed that the show will be debuting at some point in 2021. So here is everything you need to know about the new series. 


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What is the plot of Ridley Road?

Ridley Road is based on the struggles of British Jewish people in Britain who struggled post-world war II to fight against rising neo-nazism. 

The plot specifically focuses on Vivien (played by Aggi O’Casey), a young Jewish hairdresser who moves to Manchester following the death of her father. She then finds herself searching for her lost love Jack Morris (played by Tom Varey) and in a shocking twist of fate she ends up undercover in the fascist group.

Ridley Road

(Image credit: BBC)

Who is writing Ridley Road?

The series has been written by Sarah Solemani, who is also an award-winning actress known for her roles in Bridget Jones’s Baby and Bad Education. 

Sarah spoke about her excitement about this project. She said in a BBC press release, "Britain’s relationship with fascism is closer and more alive than we like to think. Luckily, so is our rich heritage of fighting it."

She continued to say, "Jo Bloom’s gripping book revealed a darker side of sixties London and the staggering contribution the Jewish community made in the battle against racism. I am thrilled to be working with RED and the BBC to bring this little-known slice of British history to the screen.”

Ridley Road

(Image credit: BBC)

Who is producing Ridley Road?

The producers of this series, RED production company, are also behind some of the most popular TV shows in recent years. Channel 4’s It’s a Sin, BBC’s Happy Valley, and Netflix’s The Stranger, are some of the amazing shows that this production company has created—and if the success of these shows is any indication, then we are in for a treat!

The executive producer and Chief Executive of Red Production Company, Nicola Shindler, said in a BBC press release, “It’s hugely exciting to adapt this story into a drama. I loved the book, and Sarah’s script has brilliantly captured the passionate love story coupled with the social tensions amid the rise of fascism and the vivid wonderment of the swinging sixties."

She continued to say, "While it’s set during a relatively unknown part of British history, Ridley Road echoes what is happening today with the growing rhetoric against people of a different race or nationality, and it feels like a really timely drama to bring to audiences.”

Ridley Road

(Image credit: BBC)

Who is in the cast of Ridley Road?

The main character Vivien is played by Aggi O’Casey and her primary love interest, Jack Morris, is played by Tom Varey. The actors revealed in a BBC press release that they were extremely excited to be cast in these new roles.

“Sarah Solemani has blown me away with the detail, sensitivity, and complexity with which she has written Vivien. I can’t wait to bring this vital and little-known story to life,” said Aggi who plays Vivien.

Tom Varey, said about being cast as Jack, “I’m so proud to be working on such a powerful, beautiful, important story. The scripts are amazing, and I can’t wait to bring them to life. I’m excited to be in the company of actors that I have looked up to and admired for so long.”

Other actors also featured in this series are Rory Kinnear, Tamzin Outhwaite, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Eddie Marsan, Samantha Spiro, and Rita Tushingham.