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Meet the cast of new BBC crime drama The Serpent

We can't wait for this...

the serpent
Eve Crosbie
Eve CrosbieTV & Film Writer
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We love nothing more than an excellent BBC drama and brand new crime thriller The Serpent is one we can't wait to get stuck into.

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The series, which tells the remarkable real-life story of how the conman and murderer Charles Sobhraj was brought to justice, looks like it's going to be an utterly gripping watch from start to finish and has a stellar cast too. So who will be starring in the show? Meet the main cast below…

Tahar Rahim - Charles Sobhraj

Tahar Rahim takes on the lead as notorious conman and murderer, Charles Sobhraj, who he describes as "a very manipulative man, a narcissist, and as sadistic as he is evil".

Tahar Rahim charles Sobhraj© Photo: BBC

Tahar Rahim as Charles

The French-Algerian actor is perhaps best known for his role in the award-winning French movie A Prophet. His next role is in the highly-anticipated big screen legal drama The Mauritanian which has been tipped as an Oscar contender.

Jenna Coleman - Marie-Andrée Leclerc

Playing Charles' accomplice Marie-Andrée Leclerc is Jenna Coleman who is best known for her roles as Clara Oswald in Doctor Who and Queen Victoria in ITV's period drama, Victoria.

Jenna Coleman Marie Andree Leclerc© Photo: BBC

Jenna Coleman as Marie-Andrée

Of her character's relationship with the cold-blooded killer, Jenna told the BBC: "He represents everything to her that is exciting and everything she feels she hasn't had in her life so far, so she kind of becomes obsessed.

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"I think she's a real romantic and she places so much faith and love in him, and it becomes a kind of obsessive, delusional addiction with him. The reality is very, very different to the narrative that she creates." 

Billy Howle - Herman Knippenberg

Herman Knippenberg is diplomat who ensnares 'the Serpent', after unwittingly walking into Charles' intricate web of crimes. Playing Herman is Billy Howle, who has appeared in shows such as Vera, MotherFatherSon and Glue. Billy has also had roles in several blockbuster films including Star Wars and Dunkirk.

Billy Howle Herman Knippenberg© Photo: BBC

Billy Howle as Herman

Ellie Bamber - Angela Knippenberg

Playing Herman's wife Angela is Ellie Bamber. Ellie first shot to fame after appearing in Tom Ford's award-winning thriller Nocturnal Animals and has previously had roles in BBC One's Les Misérables miniseries and The Trial of Christine Keeler.

Ellie Bamber Angela Knippenberg© Photo: BBC

Ellie Bamber as Angela

Amesh Edireweera - Ajay Chowdhury

Newcomer Amesh Edireweera plays Charles' right-hand man, Ajay Chowdhury. Speaking about his first on-screen role, the actor said: "Every day was a masterclass. It is truly incredible to have worked alongside and be able to learn from these phenomenal actors."

amesh Edireweera Ajay Chowdhury© Photo: BBC

Amesh Edireweera as Ajay

Mathilde Warnier - Nadine Gires

Mathilde Warnier plays Nadine Gires, a neighbour and friend to Charles and Marie-Andrée, who eventually teams up with Herman Knippenberg to bring the killers to justice. The French actress is known for her supporting roles in The Widow, Dynasty, and World on Fire.

Mathilde Warnier Nadine Gires© Photo: BBC

Mathilde Warnier as Nadine

The Serpent starts on BBC One on Friday 1 January, 9pm.

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