0 5 mins 12 yrs

All-star cast announced for ‘The Syndicate‘ series 2.

Jimi Mistry (© Rex Features)

BBC One has announced the cast for the second series of Kay Mellor‘s popular drama ‘The Syndicate‘ about a group of lottery syndicate winners.

The series returns with Mark Addy (Great Expectations, Game Of Thrones), Siobhan Finneran (Downton Abbey), Natalie Gavin (Prisoners Wives) Jimi Mistry (Eastenders, East Is East) and Alison Steadman (Gavin And Stacey) as a syndicate of five lowly paid hospital workers at St Anthony’s in Bradford, win a life changing £72,000,000 to share between them.

For Mandy (Siobhan Finneran) nursing isn’t just a job. It doesn’t matter if they paid her 14k or 40k a year, it’s her calling and all she’s ever wanted to do. Winning the lottery could, however make a huge difference to her home life.

Tom (Jimi Mistry) has been working as a nurse for seven years. Both Tom and his girlfriend Natalie are ecstatic with their newly acquired wealth. The lottery money can finally help them realise their dream of having a baby.

Dancing was her passion, but when her knees gave up, so did Rose’s (Alison Steadman) hope of ever dancing again. After years on the waiting list for a double knee replacement, winning 14 million offers her a solution.

Becky (Natalie Gavin), a 22-year-old single mother is Mandy’s daughter and was only accepted into the syndicate when colleague Helen quit four and a half months ago. She took over Helen’s numbers – she always meant to change them, just never got round to it – which was lucky because it was Helen’s numbers that won!

Alan (Mark Addy) is an alcoholic but on the wagon. That is until he wins the lottery and sips his first taste of a millionaire’s lifestyle – a glass of champagne! It’s a slippery slide downhill but at least now he can afford a new liver! Twice divorced, life hasn’t always been kind to St Anthony’s friendliest porter.

On joining the drama Downton Abbey‘s, Siobhan Finneran says: “I was a huge fan of the first series of The Syndicate and I love the grittiness and realness of Kay’s characters. I am delighted to be working with such an amazing cast and can’t wait to get cracking.”

Actor Mark Addy says: “I am delighted to be joining such a stellar cast on this brilliant British drama. I have worked on many global projects but I love Kay’s writing and how she really captures the reality of people’s lives which made this an easy job for me to take.”

Jimi Mistry adds: “I’m so pleased to being joining such an exciting project for the BBC and can’t wait to work with the fantastic team they have assembled. Looking forward to getting stuck into my character which is one of those kind of roles you always hope to play, so I thank Kay Mellor and the team for giving me this opportunity.”

Alison Steadman adds: “It’s great to be working with Kay Mellor again. Fat Friends was a brilliant time for me, so it feels like coming home. The Syndicate is a challenge I’m looking forward to.”

The first series followed a group of winning supermarket workers played by Timothy Spall, Lorraine Bruce, Matthew Lewis, Matthew McNulty and Joanna Page and was a ratings hit for BBC One.

Speaking about the second series Kay Mellor says: “The Syndicate is a drama series of our time. As the world recession bites harder and deeper, more and more people are doing the lottery. It gives them the weekly hope of winning their way out of debt and poverty. They are five little balls away from living their dream or so they think!”

The cast will also include Sally Rogers, Steven Waddington, Cathy Breeze, Jennifer James, Amelia Curtis and Karl Davies.

Directing the drama is Sid McCartney, Dominic Leclerc and Kay Mellor.

The Syndicate‘ is being made by Rollem Productions for BBC One, and is being filmed on location in Bradford and Leeds for transmission on BBC One in 2013.