Rivals cast Jilly Cooper Disney+

Jilly Cooper’s raunchy novel Rivals to be adapted for TV with an EPIC cast

Aidan Turner, David Tennant, Emily Atack and Danny Dyer all star in the new adaptation!

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Jilly Cooper’s naughty novel Rivals is being adapted for TV – and the Disney+ series has an awesome cast!

The book, which was first released in 1988, has been described as “a combination of drama, sex and good social comedy” – which sounds great to us!

The characters in the novel are famously unforgettable…

So unsurprisingly, the cast has some huge TV names.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Disney+ adaptation of Rivals.

Cast of Rivals in Disney+
The cast of upcoming series Rivals is EPIC (Credit: Disney+)

What’s the plot of Rivals on Disney+?

The Disney+ adaptation of Rivals is set in the fictional county of Rutshire.

The story follows the tense rivalry between two men, Rupert Campbell-Black and Lord Tony Baddingham…

Both characters are ambitious, egocentric and charismatic.

They work in the cut throat world of the TV industry – Corinium television – in the 1980s.

We love them already!

Speaking about the new show, Rivals author Jilly Cooper – who is also executive producer for the series – said: “I’m utterly enchanted to be able to announce our all-star line-up for Rivals.

“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.”

Jilly, 86, added: “The minute we met with Alex we knew he’d perfectly embody my all-time hero, the iconic, racy, ruthless, and devastatingly handsome, Rupert Campbell-Black.

“Viewers are in for a treat!”

Emily Atack is just one of the famous faces taking part in This is My House (Credit: BBC One)
Emily Atack, seen here on This is My House, joins the cast of Rivals (Credit: BBC One)

Who’s in the cast of Rivals on Disney+?

David Tennant, Aidan Turner, Claire Rushbrook, Danny Dyer, Emily Atack and many more have joined the cast of Rivals on Disney+.

The Boys actor Alex Hassell – aka Translucent – stars as Rupert Campbell-Black, while Doctor Who’s David Tennant will play his rival Lord Tony Baddingham.

Poldark’s Aidan Turner stars as Declan O’Hara, an intelligent TV presenter, but also a glamorous megastar with a temper.

Baddingham lures Declan to leave the BBC for Corinium TV, but then doesn’t deliver on his promises… So he is on a revenge mission of his own.

Bloodlands‘ actress Victoria Smurfit stars as Declan’s wife Maud O’Hara, who is a former actress herself.

Sex Education’s Bella Maclean, and Pistol’s Catriona Chandler plays their kids Taggie and Caitlin.

Nafessa Williams – star of Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody – plays American TV executive Cameron Cook.

Humans fave Katherine Parkinson plays Lizzie Vereker, a romantic novelist regularly overlooked by her self-centred husband.

The Crown’s Oliver Chris stars as her husband James Vereker, who also happens to be a TV presenter.

Meanwhile, EastEnders actor Danny Dyer plays self-made electronics millionaire Freddie Jones, while Maternal’s Lisa McGrillis stars as his wife, Valerie.

Sherwood’s Claire Rushbrook portrays Lady Monica Baddingham, Tony’s, Skins’ Luke Pasqualino stars as Basil ‘Bas’ Baddingham, Tony’s younger brother.

Emily Atack plays the ambitious Sarah Stratton, the new wife to deputy prime minister, Paul Stratton, who will be played by Rufus Jones (W1A).

Casts do not come better than that!

Alex Hassel joins the cast of Rivals
Alex Hassel leads the cast of Rivals (Credit: Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/Shutterstock)

Is Rivals series based on a book?

The upcoming series is based on the iconic novel of the same name by Jilly Cooper.

It’s a story of deception, wit, romance and some truly unforgettable characters.

The book was first published in 1988, and is one of 10 novels from the Rutshire Chronicles series.

The book blurb tells us that: “Into the cut-throat world of Corinium television comes Declan O’Hara, a mega-star of great glamour and integrity with a radiant feckless wife, a handsome son and two ravishing teenage daughters.

“Living rather too closely across the valley is Rupert Campbell-Black, divorced and as dissolute as ever, and now the Tory Minister for Sport.

“Declan needs only a few days at Corinium to realise that the Managing Director, Lord Baddingham, is a crook who has recruited him merely to help retain the franchise for Corinium.

“Baddingham has also enticed Cameron Cook, a gorgeous but domineering woman executive, to produce Declan’s programme.

“Declan and Cameron detest each other, provoking a storm of controversy into which Rupert plunges with his usual abandon.

“As a rival group emerges to pitch for the franchise, reputations ripen and decline, true love blossoms and burns, marriages are made and shattered, and sex raises its (delicious) head at almost every throw as, in bed and boardroom, the race is on to capture the Cotswold Crown.”

Yes, yes, and yes!

Helen and Guy argue in Maternal
Oliver Chris and Lisa McGrillis, who played husband and wife in Maternal, join the cast of Rivals (Credit: ITV)

How many parts will it be?

Rivals will be eight episodes long.

Each episode is expected to be an hour long.

But we already sense we’ll want more!

When will Rivals be on Disney+?

Rivals is currently filming on location in the UK.

But we have high hopes the series will land later in 2023.

Watch this space!

Read more: Asking For It: Emily Atack makes shock statement about ‘abuse’ she’s faced since she was a child

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Rivals will air on Disney+ later in 2o23.

Are you looking forward to the Disney+ adaptation of Jilly Cooper’s novel Rivals? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

Helen Fear
TV Editor