Poldark casts its Demelza

‘Poldark’ finds his Demelza in ‘The White Queen’ actress Eleanor Tomlinson

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Eleanor Tomlinson (Death Comes To Pemberley, The White Queen, Jack The Giant Slayer) has been cast as Demelza, in the new 8-part BBC adaption of Poldark starring Aidan Turner (The Hobbit Trilogy, Being Human).

Eleanor plays Demelza, the fiercely independent heroine and the only daughter of an impoverished and brutal miner in the 18th century Cornwall set saga. Demelza (Tomlinson) is rescued from a life of violence and drudgery by Ross Poldark (Turner) who employs her as his kitchen maid. Outspoken and free spirited she gradually becomes indispensable to all at Nampara, Ross’s ancestral home.

Eleanor says: “I am very excited to have been asked to play Demelza in the BBC’s new adaptation of these classic novels. I am conscious of the fact that the original series had a huge following and was tremendously popular. All I can promise is that I will do my utmost to do justice to the spirit of Winston Graham’s iconic character. Demelza was so brilliantly portrayed by Angharad Rees and I will do my very best to try not to disappoint the army of Poldark fans out there.”

Also added to the cast is Heida Reed (Silent Witness, DCI Banks) as the beautiful Elizabeth, promised to Ross as a young girl but after three years apart and rumours of his death abroad, she agrees to marry his cousin Francis. Tormented by the return of long buried feelings, Elizabeth can’t help but feel she may be marrying the wrong Poldark.

Heida says: “I am extremely flattered and excited to be part of such a wonderful new BBC period drama. Elizabeth is such an intelligent and elegant character and a dream role.”

Ruby Bentall (The Paradise, Larkrise To Candleford) will play Verity, Ross’s cousin and dutiful daughter to his Uncle Charles. She has lacked suitors but Ross’s return allows her an opportunity to venture into society, escaping the watchful eye of her family.

Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning, says: “The wonderful combination of our talented and stellar cast and Debbie Horsfield’s well crafted characters will ensure Poldark, our new epic and romantic drama, will be a real treat for the BBC One audience.”

The drama is made by Mammoth Screen, and adapted by Debbie Horsfield from Winston Graham’s novel. Ed Bazalgette (The Guilty, Endeavour) is directing.

Filming on Poldark begins in Cornwall and Bristol next month and will transmit in 2015 on BBC One.