Men Up cast ITV1

Men Up cast: Aneurin Barnard, Joanna Page, Iwan Rheon, and Paul Rhys star

The film follows five Welshmen who embark on one of the world's first medical trials for Viagra

Perhaps one of Christmas’ most heartwarming – and funny – new films is BBC One‘s Men Up, and the ensemble cast includes some of Wales’ finest TV actors.

The plot, based on a true story, follows five ordinary Welshmen who embark on one of the world’s first medical trials for the drug that would become Viagra. In the process, the trial takes them to some very unexpected places and forces them to reassess their lives.

Think The Full Monty for 2023.

Here’s everything you need to know about the cast of the feature film Men Up, including Joanna Page, Iwan Rheon, and Aneurin Barnard.

Joanna Page as Moira Davies in Men Up
Actress Joanna Page as Moira Davies in Men Up (Credit: Quay Street Productions/Tom Jackson)

Who plays Moira Davies in the cast of Men Up on BBC One?

Swansea-born Joanna Page portrays nurse Moira Davies in the cast of Men Up. The 46-year-old mum-of-four is probably best known for playing Stacey in the BBC comedy Gavin & Stacey. She played the popular character from

Her first ever screen role was in 1999 when she played a servant in the film Miss Julie. She went on to appear in dozens of TV shows, including David Copperfield, The Cazalets, Making Waves, and Mine All Mine.

In 2012, she portrayed Leanne Powell in The Syndicate. The same year, she went on to play Helen in Gates opposite Tom Ellis. She also voices many animated TV characters, including Tinks in Dog Squad, Oopsy in Q Pootle 5, and Poppy Cat in the show of the same name.

Of course, she famously played Just Judy in the 2003 smash romcom Love Actually. She’s also appeared in the films To the Ends of the Earth, From Hell, Dolittle, and Dream Horse. In 2012, she portrayed Mrs. Sarah Peterson in the festive film Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger!

Aneurin Barnard plays Dr Dylan Pearce in Men Up
Aneurin Barnard plays Dr Dylan Pearce in Men Up (Credit: Quay Street Productions/Tom Jackson)

Actor Aneurin Barnard stars as Dr Dylan Pearce

Welsh actor Aneurin Barnard, 36, portrays Dr Dylan Pearce in the cast of Men Up. This comes just a few years after he played Dr Holford in the sixth and final series of Peaky Blinders.

His role was crucial to the plot, even though he only appeared in two episodes. Dr Holford was a fascist and in alliance with Tommy Shelby’s enemies. He subsequently told the anti-hero he was dying when he wasn’t!

Aneurin’s breakthrough role was as Cilla Black’s husband Bobby Willis in ITV drama Cilla, starring opposite Sheridan Smith. The 2014 acclaimed mini-series focused on Cilla’s early life and rise to fame.

The actor’s next high-profile role was in BBC One’s sumptuous adaptation of Dostoevsky’s War and Peace in 2016, in which he played Boris Drubetskoy. That same year, he appeared alongside Jodie Comer in chilling BBC Three drama Thirteen. Then plot followed a woman who escaped captivity after being kidnapped at the age of 13.

His next notable TV role was in 2021 in BBC One primetime crime drama The Pact. Aneurin played murder victim, Jack, alongside a fantastic ensemble cast that included Laura Fraser, Eddie Marsan and Julie Hesmondhalgh.

He went on to star in the heartbreakingly bleak but brilliant Time, also on BBC One, alongside acting giants Sean Bean and Stephen Graham – but more than held his own as a tortured inmate.

Aneurin has been acting since 2003, so has a long list of roles to his name. These include the films Dunkirk, The Goldfinch, I’ll Take Manhattan, where he played David Bailey, and The Personal History of David Copperfield. Recently, he portrayed Daniel Solace in the Netflix drama 1899, and Ryan in the Channel 5 thriller The Catch, opposite Jason Watkins.

Iwan Rheon as Meurig Jenkins in Men Up
Iwan Rheon as Meurig Jenkins in Men Up (Credit: Quay Street Productions/Tom Jackson)

Men Up cast on BBC One: Iwan Rheon plays Meurig Jenkins

Dyfed-born Iwan Rheon, 38, portrays Meurig Jenkins in the cast of the BBC One film Men Up.

Game of Thrones fans will most certainly know him as the despicable villain Ramsay Bolton. The vile bully – the one we loved to hate – was responsible to castrating poor Alfie Allen’s character Theon Greyjoy. It was one of the most disturbing storylines in a show full of disturbing storylines (and that’s why we devoured it!)

The actor and musicianis also known for playing Simon Bellamy in the brilliant E4 series Misfits. He proved that sometimes it is the quiet ones you have to watch out for!

Other notable TV roles have included Daniel in the Welsh-speaking series Caerdydd, ill-fated Smurf in Our Girl, and Ash Weston in Vicious. He played Maximus in Inhumans, and Adam Clios in Riviera.

More recently, he played Joe in The Light in the Hall, and twisted kidnapper Molina in Wolf.

Iwan has also starred in dozens of films, and famously played Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars in the film The Dirt. He’s also appeared in the movies The Magic Flute, A Christmas Number One, Barbarians, and The Toll.

Paul Rhys as Tommy Cadogan
Welsh actor Paul Rhys as Tommy Cadogan in the cast of Men Up (Credit: Quay Street Productions/Tom Jackson)

Paul Rhys stars as Tommy Cadogan

Glamorgan-born Paul Rhys, 59, plays Tommy Cadogan in the cast of Men Up on BBC One. He’s known for his work across TV, film and theatre, and has been acting since the 80s. His first ever screen role was in 1986, when he played Dean Swift in the film Absolute Beginners.

He went on to appear in several more films, until 1990 when he portrayed Theo Van Gogh in the TV series Vincent & Theo. Paul also played Nikolai in the 2000 TV adaptation of Anna Karenina. The late Helen McCrory played the title role.

Paul is also known for portraying Rupert Cazalet in The Cazalets, Ludwig van Beethoven in Beethoven, and Ivan in Being Human.

He also played one of the leading roles in The Assets, and topped that by playing Leonardo da Vinci in Borgia! Victoria fans will know him as Sir John Conroy in the series.

More recently, he’s played Andrew Hubbard in A Discovery of Witches, and Patrick Barker in Rellik. His countless film roles include Talleyrand in the new Ridley Scott movie Napoleon.

Mark Lewis Jones as Eddie O'Connor, and Steffan Rhodro as Colin White in Men Up
Mark Lewis Jones as Eddie O’Connor, and Steffan Rhodri as Colin White in Men Up (Credit: Quay Street Productions/Tom Jackson)

Men Up cast on BBC One: Mark Lewis Jones plays Eddie O’Connor

Wrexham-born actor Mark Lewis Jones, 59, has been popping up all over the place on TV for the past few years. And Men Up is no exception. He plays Eddie O’Connor in the film.

Star Wars fans might know Mark Lewis Jones for playing First Order Captain Moden Canady in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. But he’s been in multiple other films too. These include Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Troy, Rebecca, and The Good Liar.

TV viewers will know him for playing Dale Jones in This Life, David Ancrom in The Knock, and Arthur Brownlow in The Infinite World of HG Wells. Between 2000 and 2001, he portrayed Des Davies in court drama The Bench. Several years later, he played Sgt. Ray Lloyd in Murder Prevention, and another copper – DI Russell Bing – in 55 Degrees North.

Stella fans will know him as Rob Morgan in the comedy series. In the past decade, he’s been in many of the top TV shows. He starred as Gerry in National Treasure, Dylan in Living a Lie, and General Pikalov in Chernobyl. He is also known for being the voice of Letho of Gulet the King Slayer in The Witcher 2 and 3.

More recently, Mark has played Iwan Bevan in The Accident, Kinney Edwards in Gangs of London, and Steve Baldini in Keeping Faith. He’s also appeared in Outlander, The Pact, Bodies, and The Reckoning. We told you he was in everything!

Teresa Rigby (LISA PALFREY), Colin White (STEFFAN RHODRI)
Lisa Palfrey and Steffan Rhodri as Teresa Rigby and Colin White (Credit: Quay Street Productions/Tom Jackson)

Steffan Rhodri portrays Colin White

Swansea-born actor Steffan Rhodri, 56, plays Colin White in the cast of Men Up on BBC One. Gavin & Stacey fans will know him for playing Dave Coaches in the sitcom.

He’s also famous for playing Reg Cattermole in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. Other notable film roles include Col. Darnell in Wonder Woman, Mr. Davey in Submarine, and Cooper in Ironclad.

Described by some as Wales’ most prolific actor, Steffan has been on our screens ever since 1997 when he played Hunky in the film Twin Town.

After his role in Gavin & Stacey between 2007 and 2010, Steffan went on to play Gerry Cutler in Doctors. Other notable roles include Vic Reed in Love Me, DC Neil Jones in Manhunt, and Judge Gwyn Daniels in Keeping Faith.

More recently, he’s portrayed DS Alex Blair in Wild Bill, King Hywel in The Last Kingdom, and Alun in Welsh-language drama Yr Amgueddfa. This year, he starred as Phil ‘Bach’ Rees in Steeltown Murders, based on a true story.

Phaldut Sharma is Peetham 'Pete' Shah in the cast of Men Up on BBC One
Phaldut Sharma is Peetham ‘Pete’ Shah in the cast of Men Up (Credit: Quay Street Productions/Tom Jackson)

Men Up cast on BBC One: Phaldut Sharma is Peetham ‘Pete’ Shah

Like most of his Men Up co-stars, actor Phaldut Sharma is a Welsh actor who has appeared in Gavin & Stacey! Although he only popped up in one episode as Achmed in 2007.

The actor is perhaps best known for playing mechanic AJ Ahmed in EastEnders. He portrayed the role from 2012 to 2014. AJ was an extension of the established Masood family, the younger brother of Masood Ahmed.

TV viewers will also recognise him for playing Ranjit Singh in the legal drama The Bench. The series also starred several of Phaldut’s Men Up colleagues. He also played Rajiv in Roger Roger, Paul in Meet the Magoons, and Tom in Hanna.

He’s popped up in TV series including Doctors, The Bill, Holby City, Cuffs, and Casualty. More recently, he portrayed Garmen Harry in Full Circle, Kethan in Romantic Getaway, and Chief Constable Fraser in Sherwood. Unforgotten fans will know him as DCI Ram Sidhu.

He’s been in dozens of films, including Children of Men, A Gift from Bob, The Personal History of David Copperfield, and The Wedding Guest.

Alexandra Roach as Ffion Jenkins in Men Up
Alexandra Roach as Ffion Jenkins in Men Up (Credit: Quay Street Productions/Tom Jackson)

Actress Alexandra Roach plays Ffion Jenkins

Alexandra Roach, 36, plays Ffion Jenkins in the cast of Men Up. Fans of Channel 4’s police drama No Offence will be no stranger to the Welsh actress, who played DS Joy Freers until the final series when she was tragically shot in the first episode.

She’s appeared in several period dramas, too, including the ITV adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sanditon. She played long-suffering Diana Parker, sister to heartthrob Sidney Parker.

Alex played a young Margaret Thatcher in the biopic movie The Iron lady starring Meryl Streep. She played a younger version of the former Prime Minister in the award-winning film.

The TV star actually began her TV career at just 11 years old, and landed a part in the Welsh-language soap Pobol Y Cwm in her early teens.

She’s also known for playing Becky in Utopia, Helene in Hunderby, Zoe Sterling in Viewpoint, and Cat in The Light in the Hall – which also starred her Men Up colleague Iwan Rheon. More recently, she played Maggie in Bodies, and Liz Rich in Radio 4’s The Witch Farm.

The cast of Men Up on BBC One
The cast of Men Up on BBC One (Credit: Quay Street Productions/Tom Jackson)

Who else stars in the cast of the ITV1 film Men Up?

First of all, Ghosts fans will recognise Katy Wix, who appears in the cast of Men Up. She played Mary in the BBC comedy, but she’s also known for her roles in Ted Lasso, Big Boys, Stath Lets Flats, The Windsors, Not Going Out and Agatha Raisin.

Nathan Sussex, known for playing Buster Smith in Hollyoaks, takes on the role of Rhys Lancey.

The Tuckers’ actress Alexandria Riley plays Alys Shah, while Lisa Palfrey stars as Teresa Rigby. Lisa recently played Beth in The Pact, and is also known for her roles in The Light in the Hall, Chloe and Sex Education. Line of Duty fans might recognise her for playing Insp. Tracey McAndrew.

Meanwhile, Trish Williams is an Ann Summers party guest, Libby Waite is a barista, and young actors Huw Huckstep and Raphael J. Bishop play Gruff and Llewellyn respectively.

Last but not least, DI Ray actress Philippa Cole portrays Ceri Howell, and Steeltown Murders’ Dyfan Dwyfor also appears in the cast.

Read more: Discover Aneurin Barnard: His roles, origins, age, and how to pronounce his name

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Men Up airs on Friday, December 29, 2023 at 9pm on BBC One.

What do you think of the cast of Men Up ? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

Helen Fear
TV Editor