The pair are joining the previously announced Adeel Akhtar, Nathalie Armin and Michael Socha in the five-part season from Line of Duty maker World Productions. Dempsie will play DI Miles Southgate, while Annis will play a character called Dame Harriet Kenny.
Other high profile cast revealed today include Nina Toussaint-White (Bodyguard) and Fisayo Akinade (Heartstopper). Tom Padley (The Lost Pirate Kingdom), Kerrie Hayes (Blue Jean), Ali Khan (A Haunting in Venice), Daniel Kendrick (Inside Man), Frankie Wilson (Against the Ice), Anna Próchniak (The Tattooist of Auschwitz), Anna Wilson Jones (Victoria), John Light (Around the World in 80 Day), Aidan McArdle (Spy Master), Daisy Badger (The Sandman), Flora Montgomery (The Crown), Pearce Quigley (Detectorists), John Marquez (Doc Martin), Anna Healy (Mother’s Day) and Barney Fishwick (Living) have also landed roles.
“Watching new cast added is always one of the most rewarding elements of creating a show,” said Richards. “It is truly a privilege to have actors of such variety and talent.”
Showtrial‘s first season aired in October 2021 on BBC One and starred Tracy Ifeachor and Céline Buckens. It followed a murder trial that explodes in the national consciousness and was picked up by Sundance Now and Acorn TV for the U.S. last year.
Synopsis for season two reads: “When the high-profile climate activist Marcus Calderwood is left for dead in a violent hit and run, he uses his dying moments to identify his killer — a serving policeman. But who is this unnamed ‘Officer X’? What does his own history reveal about the nature of trauma and revenge, and was Marcus’s death a careless accident or cold-blooded murder?”
The series tracks the case from the victim’s last breath to the jury’s final verdict, following cocky officer Justin Mitchell (Socha), anxious defense solicitor with a reputation for winning lost causes Sam Gill (Akhtar) and Leila Hassoun-Kenny (Armin), a rigorous CPS lawyer leading the case against the accused. The series will again explore public outrage and question what happens when a trial is dominated by contentious issues.
“I’m such a fan of everyone involved in this, and can’t wait to bring Ben Richards’ compelling scripts to life with all of them,” said Dempsie.
“Ben is a wonderful writer and I am thrilled to bring the complex character of Dame Harriet Kenny to life,” added Annis. “I was enamored by the scripts and left guessing until the final page.”
Julia Ford (Everything I Know About Love, Safe) is directing season 2 with Ken Horn (Line of Duty, The Moorside the producer. Executive producers are Simon Heath and Emma Luffingham for ITV Studios-owned World and with Nawfal Faizullah for the BBC. Showtrial is filming now in and around Belfast and is made with support from Northern Ireland Screen, in association with ITV Studios, which will also handle international distribution.