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Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan's new BBC project revealed – and it's another period drama

The actress will play Queen Victoria

Nicola Coughlan as Queen Victoria in the Dodger Christmas special
Megan Bull
Megan BullTV Writer
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Dearest Reader, Nicola Coughlan – aka Lady Penelope Featherington – is more in demand than ever, and now the diamond of the season has joined another period drama. Having completed filming on series three of Bridgerton, the actress is trading the Ton for the smoky streets of Victorian London. 

Nicola Coughlan as Queen Victoria in the Christmas special of Dodger. Pictured with her castmates© BBC
Nicola Coughlan will appear in the Christmas special of Dodger

Signed on as a guest star in the Dodger Christmas special, Nicola will join the likes of Christopher Eccleston, Billy Jenkins, Ellie-May Sheridan, Lenny Rush, and Toby Stephens in the upcoming instalment. 

Currently, details about the 55-minute special are limited, however, it has been confirmed that Nicola will play British monarch, Queen Victoria. Set to air over the festive period on BBC iPlayer, BBC One and CBBC, the episode features "Fagin and the gang's biggest heist yet – getting their hands on Queen Victoria's crown from her Coronation ceremony," according to the BBC.

Nicola Coughlan wearing a purple gown as Queen Victoria© BBC
The special will air over the Christmas period

As fans will remember, Dodger first aired in 2022, arriving on our screens with 13 episodes. Following the exploits of The Artful Dodger, as well as Fagin's gang, the series quickly became a hit, and Dodger even took home the BAFTA for Best Scripted Series last year.

Following Nicola's appearance in the Dodger Christmas special, fans will next see her in the third season of Bridgerton. Back in October, Adjoa Andoh, who plays Lady Danbury, told HELLO! on the Pride of Britain red carpet that fans can expect the upcoming season to premiere in 2024.

When asked what it was like watching the love story of Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington unfold in the new season, the actress said: "It's very gratifying because we've held our breath for a long time. Because of the way the year's panned out and that the season's going to come out next year, the anticipation is going to grow and grow. 

"I think people will feel very satisfied," she added. 

Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington© Netflix
Nicola as Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton

Asked what to expect from the plot of season three, Adjoa teased more "intrigue and romance". 

"We're going to have some Colin and Penelope," she began. "We're going to have some Lady Whistledown action. We're going to have some pushing and pulling from Lady Danbury. 

Season 3 will focus on Colin and Penelope
The third season of Bridgerton will explore the relationship between Colin and Penelope

"More intrigue, more romance, more fabulous outfits, locations, and a bit of 'how's your father,' of course," she explained, adding: "If you like the show, you're going to get more of the same with bells on this season."

MORE: Bridgerton star criticises Netflix's treatment after suffering 'psychotic breaks from that show'

READ: Christmas TV guide 2023: HELLO!'s top festive picks

The third installment will focus on Colin Bridgerton and Lady Penelope Featherington this time round. It’s expected to follow on from Penelope's heartbreak at the end of season two, when she overheard Colin's disparaging words about her at the Featherington Ball. 

WATCH: Bridgerton's season three announcement

The synopsis teases: "Eager to win back her friendship, Colin offers to mentor Penelope in the ways of confidence to help her find a husband this season. But when his lessons start working a little too well, Colin must grapple with whether his feelings for Penelope are truly just friendly." 

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