Blethyn takes on the title role of Kate in the comedy alongside theater and film actor Jimmy Akingbola as Kolo. Blethyn is a popular star with ITV audiences after having starred as police detective Vera Stanhope since 2011 in long-running crime drama “Vera,” which is currently in production on its 10th season, due to air in 2020. The acclaimed actress has twice been Oscar-nominated, as best actress for Mike Leigh’s 1996 film “Secrets & Lies” and as supporting actress for Mark Herman’s “Little Voice” two years later. She won both Golden Globe and BAFTA awards for her role in “Secrets & Lies.”
Akingbola previously appeared as villain Baron Reiter in the CW’s adaptation of DC Comics’ “Arrow.” His British credits include comedy “Rev” and long-running medical drama “Holby City.”
“Kate and Kolo” centers on a working-class woman who runs an old-fashioned café in a neglected seaside town and who develops a strong, if sometimes volatile, friendship with an asylum-seeking African doctor. The Hat Trick production is written by Guy Jenkin and Andy Hamilton, whose credits together include comedies “Outnumbered” and “Drop the Dead Donkey.”
Jimmy Mulville, managing director at Hat Trick Productions said: “It’s a wonderfully funny and sometimes touching comedy about real people coping with life at the sharp end.”
“Kate and Kolo” was commissioned by ITV’s comedy controller, Saskia Schuster.