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25 February 2020, 11:04
Meet the cast of new ITV drama Flesh and Blood...
Flesh and Blood is a brand new drama from ITV which follows three adult siblings – Helen, Jake and Natalie – whose lives are thrown into disarray when their mum Vivien falls for a new man.
As newly widowed Vivien approaches 70, her children get more suspiscious when Mark starts to shift her priorities away from her family. A history of lies and secrets are then exposed before the story ends in tragedy.
With the likes of Francesca Annis, Stephen Rea and Imelda Staunton starring in the drama - let’s take a closer look at the cast.
Francesca Annis plays mum Vivien who has recently found a new man, Mark. She is initially annoyed by her children’s meddling but soon starts to suspect her new boyfriend.
Francesca has been an actress for five decades and has appeared both on screen and on stage.
She’s been nominated for a BAFTA six times for her roles in Roman Polanski's Macbeth, King of Thieves, Dalziel and Pascoe and Agatha Christie's Marple.
The 74-year-old had her first role in a film as Cleopatra's handmaiden alongside Elizabeth Taylor in 1963.
Vivien’s boyfriend Mark is played by Irish actor Stephen Rea who is far from welcomed into the family with open arms.
Stephen previously starred in the iconic film The Crying Game, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award in 1992.
As for his TV career, Stephen won a BAFTA for his role on The Honourable Women, and has been on War & Peace and The Stranger.
Jake is Vivien’s son who is the most suspicious of his mum's new partner, Mark and makes it his mission to find out what’s going on.
Essex actor Russell, 38, previously starred in BBC drama Years and Years, Being Human and Him & Her as well as having roles in Gavin and Stacey, The Night Manager and Sherlock.
Speaking about his latest role, Russel said: "To play with this dynamic of being part of a family is something I find interesting and was too exciting to pass up."And to play a character who has so much animosity towards this older man who has come into his mother’s life. It was a really great role and something I had to explore."
Played by Lydia Leonard, Natalie is the youngest sibling of the trio. She’s got a good job but has found herself having an affair with her married boss.
Lydia said of Flesh and Blood: “Flesh and Blood shows how families can be so dysfunctional and loving at the same time. There’s a thriller element to this story but also a lightness. It was fun to film and, hopefully, will be fun to watch. I think a lot of people will relate to these characters. It’s darkly witty and gripping.”
Previously, 38-year-old Lydia has starred in recent film Last Christmas as well as Gentleman Jack.
The actress has also had a successful stage career starring in Wolf Hall, for which she received a Tony nomination.
Helen is played by Claudie Blakley and is the eldest sister of the family. She is suffering from her own marriage struggles and often turns to alcohol.
The 46-year-old played Louise in ITV's Manhunt but has also starred in Grantchester, The Driver and New Tricks.
She has also appeared on stage in plenty of theatre productions including Shakespeare adaptations.
Mary plays Vivien’s nosy neighbour and lifelong friend. She becomes a key witness when tragedy hits and her unhealthy obsession with the family is put under the microscope.
Speaking about her role, Imelda previously said: "What is clever about Flesh and Blood is you want to know what has happened but you also become invested in everyone’s story. Trying to guess what these characters are really like.”
Before Flesh and Blood, Imelda starred in Harry Potter as Professor Umbridge as well as the Downton Abbey film.
She is also a legend of the National Theatre and has previously been nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a Primetime Emmy Award, and four BAFTA's.
Sharon Small plays Stella who is a partner in a local law firm with a small side-line in property rentals. Keep-fit classes brought her close to personal trainer Jake but their professional relationship soon turns into something else completely.
The likes of Lara Rossi, Keir Charles and Vincent Regan also join the lineup for the four-part series.