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The Outlaws starts on BBC One tonight (October 25) and the quirky series brings together characters from all walks of life. The seven strangers begin their community service together as they renovate a derelict building in Bristol. Express.co.uk has all you need to know about how is in the cast of Stephen Merchant’s TV series.
Who is in The Outlaws?
Rani – Rhianne Barreto
Rani is one of the leading lights of the series and she is an intelligent teenager who has been accepted at Oxford University.
However, she has a habit of stealing and ends up getting caught, which leads to her community service sentence.
She is played by Rhianne Barreto, a 23-year-old actress who has previously starred in Hanna and Honour.
On Instagram, she was thrilled to announce the series has already been renewed for a second season.
Christian – Gamba Cole
Christian is a doorman at a club and while he is not working, he is taking care of his younger sister.
Gamba Cole, who plays the character, said viewers will learn he is “actually one of the good ones”.
The actor is known for his roles in Hanna, House and Guerrilla.
He shared a photo of his character on Instagram, saying: “To all the friends & family I’ve barely seen.
“I’ve been working on the biggest job of my career so far and I hope when this drops you’ll understand.”
Greg – Stephen Merchant
Greg is one of the supporting characters in the series and he is played by the show’s creator, Stephen Merchant.
The star said: “Growing up, my parents used to work for Bristol Community Service. My mother was always careful, she would say, ‘I can’t tell you about specific cases…’ as if it was sensitive information and I couldn’t be trusted.
“But here and there, not naming names, she would talk about some of the people that came through the doors.
“I was always intrigued because it was such a mix of people. You’d have the businessman who’d got caught drink-driving or some student who’d got in trouble for some minor thing.
“Or there was an old guy who was stealing cabbages from allotments just to get community service, because he was lonely and he liked the social aspect of it.”
The comedian and actor is known for working on shows like The Office, Extras and Life’s Too Short.
Frank – Christopher Walken
Franks is an American man who married an English woman and has been living in England for the past 40 years.
He is good-natured but has made a lot of mistakes and has poor judgement when it comes to the law.
He is played by Christopher Walken, the 78-year-old American actor known for Pulp Fiction, Sleepy Hollow, The Deer Hunter and more.
Speaking about how he was cast for the role, he said: “It was a good job and I’m a fan of Stephen Merchant. We met at my house and I was very taken with him.
“It’s very good writing: you can tell that, if you’ve been doing it for as long as I have. I stand in my kitchen, I read the lines out loud and these were very good words.
“And, you know, it was great to come to England. I’ve been in England many times in my career, not to Bristol, but I’ve always enjoyed myself here. So it was just a good job.”
Gabby – Eleanor Tomlinson
Gabby is the socialite of the series and she has everything in life she could possibly need.
However, the one thing she yearns for is the love from her father, who has been missing from her childhood.
She is played by Eleanor Tomlinson, a 29-year-old English actress and singer known for her roles in Poldark and Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging.
She shared a photo of herself with her co-stars on Instagram, saying: “Community Service never looked so good.
“Thank you to our incredible crew ♥️ What a team.”
Myrna – Clare Perkins
Myrna is a stalwart of Bristol and she cares deeply for her community, and how political choices impact society.
She launched a group called the Bristol Justice Collective and is an old-school activist.
She is played by Clare Perkins, a 56-year-old English actress known for Family Affairs and playing Ava Hartman in EastEnders.
Speaking of her character, she said: “With all tropes or stereotypes there’s always a person behind them, isn’t there?
“With Myrna we find out that it comes from the heart. It all started after the riots in St. Paul’s [in 1980] where she witnessed police brutality as a child against her friends.
“You could say she’s the angry black woman or she’s some sort of old hippie fighting for outdated values, but it all comes from a real place and she passionately believes in it.”
John – Darren Boyd
John had a troubled childhood as he grew up as the son of an Irish Catholic father, who was dominant and aggressive.
As a result of his upbringing, he is a very defensive and antagonistic character.
He is played by Darren Boyd, a 50-year-old actor known for his roles in Spy and Kiss Me Kate.
Opening up about his character John, he said: “He’s had a violent encounter, and we find out later that he’s been accused of racially aggravated assault.
“We’ll find out even further down the line whether or not the accusation is true. It all very much plays into this idea that runs right through this series, of judging at first sight and the assumptions that we make about people (often judgements based on very little information).”
Diane – Jess Gunning
Diane is in charge of the community service team and she is the Community Payback Supervisor.
She is a micromanager who is always carrying out spot checks, and this leads to a dangerous discovery.
She is played by Jess Gunning, a stage and TV actress known for her roles in White Heat, Pride and Prime Suspect 1973.
Speaking about how she researched the role, Gunning said: “I looked up what the job involves, and then I worked out how Diane could have extended that role.
“She feels like she wants to be almost like an American cop quite a lot of the time. She’s got her own makeshift tool belt, with her torch and her whistle.”
The Outlaws consists of six episodes which will air weekly on BBC One and the series is described as a comical crime thriller.
In the first episode, a criminal mistake unites the seven strangers in ways they could never have anticipated.
The series hit headlines last week when the truck carrying costumes for the series ended up in Bristol harbour.
The lorry fell into the water and luckily no one was injured, but nearby boats were evacuated.
Filming for the series started in March 2020 but had to shut down after 10 days due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Outlaws starts on BBC One tonight (October 25) at 9pm.
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