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Year of the Rabbit: Keeley Hawes, Sally Phillips and Jill Halfpenny join Channel 4’s upcoming comedy

Matt Berry’s six-part series has gone into production.

Year of the Rabbit - Sally Phillips and Keeley Hawes
Credit: Channel 4

Channel 4‘s upcoming comedy Year of the Rabbit has added Keeley Hawes (Bodyguard, Misbehaviour), Sally Phillips (Veep, Bridget Jones), and Jill Halfpenny (Three Girls, In the Club) to its cast.

In the 6-part series Matt Berry plays Detective Inspector Rabbit, a hardened booze-hound cop in Victorian London. He’s aided and abetted by his new partner Wilbur Strauss (Freddie Fox) and the country’s first female police officer, Mabel Wisbech (Susan Wokoma), as they bring justice to the streets of the east end.

Hawes stars as the mysterious Lydia, Phillips is Princess Juliana of Bulgaria, and Halfpenny features as Rabbit’s ex, the deadly Flora.

Year of the Rabbit - Keeley Hawes

Credit: Channel 4

Keeley Hawes said: “It’s great to be working with Matt, Susan and Freddie on such a brilliantly original show. Lydia is such an enigmatic character. It’s been a thoroughly enjoyable, bonkers experience.”

Sally Phillips commented: ““I can report that there is literally nothing more pleasurable than playing a haughty, 19th Century, pansexual, Bulgarian autocrat with access to guns. I may have peaked.”

Jill Halfpenny added: “I’m thrilled to be a part of Year of the Rabbit. It’s an amazing creative team and I’ve had the best time making it.”

Year of the Rabbit - Jill Halfpenny

Credit: Channel 4

The series also features Alun Armstrong (The Cane, Frontier) as Chief Inspector Wisbech – who suffers two ways, as Rabbit’s boss and Mabel’s father – and Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones, Afterlife) as Rabbit’s nemesis, D.I. Tanner.

Other cast members include David Dawson (Last Kingdom, Ripper Street), Ann Mitchell (Call The Midwife, Widows), Alistair Petrie (The Night Manager, Sex Education), Matthew Holness (Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, Toast of London) and Craig Parkinson (Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, Line of Duty).

Year of the Rabbit is directed by BAFTA-nominated Ben Taylor (Catastrophe, Sex Education) and written by Emmy and WGA Award-winners Andy Riley and Kevin Cecil (Veep, Black Books), with additional material from Matt Berry.

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