The Boat Story on BBC One is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before, apart from the cast who are a selection of some of our favourite TV actors.
Season 1 of the darkly comic crime caper begins on Sunday (November 17, 2023) with the first of 6 episodes. The BBC tells us it’s about “two strangers, one boat, and nothing to lose”.
The new detective drama stars Daisy Haggard and Paterson Joseph as two strangers fallen on hard times. When out walking their dogs, they discover a shipment of cocaine in the remains of a washed-up boat, they tell themselves that selling it could solve all their problems. However, there’s a catch (pardon the fishing pun).
The characters of Janet Campbell and Samuel Wells are unaware that this will make them the targets of the police, and a vengeful French mobster who does not take kindly to having his merchandise stolen…
Warning, this is fun, but certainly not for the squeamish! Here’s a rundown of all the cast in Boat Story, written by Harry and Jack Williams.
Boat Story cast: Daisy Haggard plays Janet Campbell
Actress Daisy Haggard, 45, portrays the lead role of Janet Campbell in Boat Story. Janet bumps into stranger Samuel on a beach, where the pair stumble into a lucrative – but dangerous – discovery. When they find a stash of cocaine, she’s keen to call the police, but it persuaded to make some money instead.
Comedy fans will know Daisy as Ally in the cast of Breeders. She’s also famous for starring in Back to Life, a series she created. In it, she portrayed Miri Matteson quite brilliantly, a woman trying to reclaim her life after being convicted of murder.
Daisy is also known for playing Emmy in Green Wing, Emma in The Persuasionists, and Debbie in Psychoville. She played Christine Proctor in Ballot Monkeys, Sam in Uncle and Myra Licht in Episodes. She’s also known for her various roles in Man Stroke Woman.
Other notable roles include Sophie in Doctor Who, Charlene in Outnumbered, Bets in Black Mirror, and Lara in Inside No9. Daisy has also been in several films, including Songbird, Calloused Hands, and I Give It a Year. Harry Potter fans might know her as the voice of the lift!
Actor Paterson Joseph portrays Samuel Wells
Paterson Joseph, who looks ridiculously youthful for 59, stars as down-on-his-luck Samuel in Boat Story. Paterson recently played Kamal Hadley in Noughts and Crosses, Newsome in Vigil, and Thompson in That Dirty Black Bag.
The Sandman viewers might recognise his voice as that of Demon Choronzon… He’s also known for his iconic role of Alan Johnson in the acclaimed sitcom Peep Show. Other notable roles include in Babylon, Survivors, Green Wing, Timeless, Safe House, Jericho, Law and Order: UK, and Jeykll.
Paterson has also bagged himself a handful of Hollywood roles too. He’s starred in the likes of Aeon Flux, acclaimed drama Traffic, and he’ll soon appear in the reboot of Wonka.
Casualty fans will know him as Mark Grace, a role he played from 1997 to 1998.
Boat Story cast: Craig Fairbrass is Guy
It’s not often we see beefcake Craig Fairbrass, 59, on our TV screens, but here he is portraying Guy in the cast of Boat Story. Of course, EastEnders fans will know the actor for playing Dan Sullivan from 1999 to 2001. He’s definitely found a niche, as a big proportion of his roles tend to be on the villainous side!
The former dancer – yes, he used to perform on Top of the Pops – is perhaps better known for playing ‘hard men’ in the likes of Cliffhanger, opposite Sly Stallone. Other film roles include Terry Hamilton in Beyond Bedlam, Frazer Truick in Darklands, and Det. Robert Bryant in Killing Time. In fact, he’s played one of the heavies in dozens of films, although he played the lead role of Eddie Franks in the 2020 thriller Villain.
More recently, he played Chef Zeff in the TV series One Piece.
Tchéky Karyo portrays The Tailor
French actor Tchéky Karyo stars as The Tailor in Boat Story, and he’s not someone who’d want to mess with! While he pays a baddie in the six-part crime thriller, he’s actually better known for being on the right side of the law.
Of course, 70-year-old Tchéky Karyo, 70, is best known to us Brits for playing Julien Baptiste in the great crime drama of the same name. He first played the role in the TV series The Missing, and subsequently got his own spin-off show, which ran for two series.
He’s been on our screens ever since 1982 when he starred in the Gérard Depardieu film The Return of Martin Guerre. Since then, he’s been in dozens of French films and TV series. One notable role was as Paolo in the saucy S&M film Husbands and Lovers. The late Julian Sands also starred in the movie.
He’s also known for playing Black Coda in the TV series Arabian Night, Yoel in Possessions, and Général Duvernet in Women at War. Most recently, he played Miller in the high-stakes, contemporary thriller Liaison.
Jonas Armstrong stars as Arthur Lake
Actor Jonas Armstrong, 42, portrays Arthur Lake in Boat Story, and he’s very well known to TV audiences.
Jonas is probably most famous for playing Robin Hood in the BBC series of the same name between 2006 and 2009. He also played Anthony Millington in Teachers, Steve in Prisoners Wives, Ben in Hit & Miss, and Joe in Line of Duty.
Most recently, he portrayed Jason in The Drowning, and Sean Meredith in The Bay – a father whose child goes missing. He’s also played grieving dad Gareth in Hollington Drive, Saul Morris in Strike, and Finn Coleman in Ghost Seekers.
In 2022, he took on the role of paedophile Barry Bennell in the moving drama Floodlights.
Boat Story cast: Michele Austin plays Camilla Wells
Michele Austin plays Camilla Wells in the cast of Boat Story on BBC One. The actress recently played Angela – a self-made millionaire – in The Other One.
Before The Other One, she’s probably best known for her role as PC Yvonne Hemmingway in The Bill. However, she’s also had parts in Casualty, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Doctors, Holby City, Silent Witness and many many more.
You’ll have also seen her as Estelle in Death in Paradise, Tracey in This is Going to Hurt, Dani in Meet the Richardsons, and Annie in Dark Heart.
She’s appeared in EastEnders twice. The first time, she played a registrar in 2001, and returned for three episodes between 2010 and 2016 portraying Gloria MacDonald – evil Lucas Johnson‘s sister. Michele has also appeared in some seriously respected films, including Mike Leigh’s Another Year, and Secrets & Lies.
Ethan Lawrence stars as Ben Tooh
Actor Ethan Lawrence, 31, stars as Ben Tooh in the cast of Boat Story. The Essex-born star is known for playing the roles of Joe Poulter in the BBC series Bad Education, and James in the Netflix black comedy After Life. Fans of the Ricky Gervais series will remember James as the gormless but likeable character.
He appeared in the first series as a teenager who played the recorder with his nose. The character later became a regular character in the second and third series.
Since 2021, Ethan has played various characters in the CBBC children’s comedy sketch show Horrible Histories. He’s also known for playing Ryan in Sky Living comedy series Trying Again, and has made several TV appearances in shows such as Flat TV, Avatards and Doc Martin.
Boat Story cast: Joanna Scanlan as Pat Tooh
Joanna has been on our TV screens ever since 1997 when she played Bessie in the TV movie Jane Eyre. She went on to play Lady Crawley in Vanity Fair, Stumpy Yates in Doctors and Nurses, and even played a prisoner in EastEnders!
From 2005 to 2012, she played Terri Coverley in The Thick of It, and later Nancy in Stella. She’s also played Sister Den Flixter in Getting On, Toria in Heading Out, Mrs. Klebb in Big School and Janice Gray in Requiem.
Joanna has appeared in the films Kinky Boots, Notes on a Scandal, Bridget Jones’ Baby and The Other Boleyn Girl. Other TV roles include DI Vivienne Deering in No Offence, and Angela Griffiths in The Accident.
More recently, Joanna has played Isabella ‘Tib’ Norcliffe in Gentleman Jack series 2, Kelly Mulcreevy in McDonald & Dodds, and Mother Superior in Dracula. In 2020, she played Mary in the hard-hitting film After Love. She deservedly won the BAFTA award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for it.
Joanna appeared in psychological thriller The Light in the Hall.
Katie Dickie as Katia
The fabulous Kate Dickie, 52, stars as Katia in Boat Story. She’s known for nearly 30 years of appearances on TV and film – not least her role as the rather unpleasant Lysa Arryn in Game of Thrones…
The actress got her start with a small role in the 1994 comedy series Rab C Nesbitt, when she was in her twenties. She went on to appear in TV series Tinsel Town, The Vice, and Still Game, as well as a number of films. But arguably her first TV big role was in Starz series The Pillars of the Earth in 2010. She played Agnes in the Emmy-winning series.
Kate then won the role of detestable Lysa Arryn in Games of Thrones in 2011. She was Littlefinger’s wife who he rather violently killed off in shocking scenes in series 4.
Her other best-known TV roles include Annie in Midwinter of the Spirit, Sal in One of Us and Mrs Bishop in The Frankenstein Chronicles. Kate Dickie played Morven Davis in the mini-series The Cry alongside Jenna Coleman. She had a small cameo in Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi back in 2017.
She also played Sister Condron in the Scottish film Our Ladies, and played Mrs Gill in Steve McQueen’s BAFTA-winning series Small Axe. Kate recently played DCI Diane Oban in Alibi series Annika with Nicola Walker. She also recently played Halldóra the Pict in the film The Northman. Most recently she played Morag in Inside Man, and General Dox in Loki.
Phil Daniels portrays Craig Dodd
Actor Phil Daniels, 65, plays Craig Dodds in Boat Story, which is a bit of a coincidence as he recently portrayed fisherman Marvelous Harris in the cast of Beyond Paradise!
Of course, the veteran actor is best known for playing Jimmy in the 1979 film Quadrophenia. He’s been acting for more than 50 years – ever since he was 14, in fact, when he played Billy in the film Anoop and the Elephant opposite Linda Robson. He went on to secure several TV roles until landing the life-changing part in Quadrophenia.
EastEnders fans will know him for playing Kevin Wicks in the BBC soap from 2006 to 2008. Phil also played Richards in Scum, and voiced Fetcher in Chicken Run.
Other notable TV roles include Sam Weller in The Pickwick Papers, Gary Rickey in Holding On, Larry Valentine in Sex, Chips & Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Terry Brook in Time Gentleman Please.
Music fans will know him as the salesman in the video to Blur’s 1994 hit Parklife.
Who else appears in the cast of Boat Story on BBC One?
Olafur Darri Olafsson is the comic narrator of Boat Story on BBC One. The Icelandic actor, 50, is known for his role Andri Ólafsson in Entrapped, and Billy in The Tourist.
Oliver Sheridan plays Alan, DI Ray’s Rick S Carr stars as Dennis, and Benidorn actor Adam Gillen – aka Liam Conroy – plays Vinnie. Meanwhile, John Henshaw portrays Nigel. John is best known for playing Ken in Early Doors, and Mike Dugdale in The Long Shadow.
Newcomer Cherie Gordon stars as Cherie Gordon, Girl/Haji’s Joseph Kennedy plays Dr Weathers, and Craig Kelly portrays Peter. Of course, Craig is the brother of Maryland actor Dean Lennox Kelly. But Craig is famous in his own right. He’s known for playing Daniel Perryman in Casualty, Vince Tyler in Queer as Folk, and Pete in Hotel Babylon.
Boat Story starts on Sunday, November 19, 2023 at 9pm on BBC One.
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