Ridley Road is the explosive new drama on BBC iPlayer and it’s undoubtedly the next must watch television show of 2021.
Written by Sarah Solemani, Ridley Road is the latest in a long-line of winning television shows in 2021. We had Vigil, the nail-biting show set on a Vanguard submarine boat at the bottom of the sea, and we’ve had Help on Channel 4, which deals with the devastating first few weeks of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, we have Jo Bloom’s television adaption of Ridley Road.
Set in post-war England, the series follows a brave young woman as she infiltrates one of the largest neo-Nazi groups in Europe.
Where is Ridley Road filmed?
Ridley Road is filmed in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, an area of the city which sits between Piccadilly and the Ancoats.
In November last year, people spotted camera crews transforming Tib Street into 1960s London’s East End with additional signs and vintage features.
A bustling area of the Northern Quarter normally, Tib Street is home to loads of bars, restaurants and shops. In previous years, it was a pet shop paradise with stores lining each side of the road. If you were to visit the area today, you’d be able to see some iconography of this unusual history on the sides of the buildings.
Other filming locations include Stamford Street in Ashton-under-Lyne in Tameside, Greater Manchester.
How many episodes of Ridley Road are there?
There are four episodes of Ridley Road.
The first episode aired on October 3 and all four are now available to watch on BBC iPlayer as part of a box-set series.
If you’ve watched all four Ridley Road episodes, don’t worry, there’s still plenty more excitement coming to television before the end of the year. If you like comedy, Complaints Welcome on Channel 4 is the new late-night chat show, starring top comedians and famous faces from television.
What is Ridley Road about?
Ridley Road is the story of the 62 Group, a collection of anti-fascists who stood up against the rising neo-Nazi movement in Britain after World War Two.
The series comes straight from the pages of Jo Bloom’s book, which she released in 2014.
Taking place in the year of 1962, Ridley Road follows the perspective of Vivien Epstein, a young Jewish woman who moves from Manchester to East London after her father passes away. Here she attempts to track down Jack Morris, who she had a love affair with some years before. But with little information to find him with, Vivien struggles initially. While looking, she gets a job at a hair salon in Soho.
This is where Vivien meets those who will introduce her to London’s growing anti-fascist movement. She soon becomes a spy in the National Socialist Movement (NSM), a neo-Nazi organisation set up by far-right figure Colin Jordan and John Tyndall, a fellow fascist political activist.
During the four hour-long episodes of the series, Vivien comes face-to-face with the leader of the movement himself. Alongside other real-life characters from the era and Jack, her long-lost love.
Screenwriter Sarah Solemani hopes it will bring a new awareness to the growing threat of fascism in the UK today.
Ridley Road cast: Who stars in the show?
- Agnes O’Casey as Vivien
- Eddie Marsan as Soly Malinovsky
- Tracy Ann Oberman as Nancy Malinovsky
- Tamzin Outhwaite as Barbara Watson
- Rory Kinnear as Colin Jordan
- Gabriel Akuwudike as Stevie
- Tom Varey as Jack Morris
Other faces, some of which you may recognise from series like Sex Education and A Taste of Honey, include Samantha Spiro and Rita Tushingham.
Agnes O’Casey is the latest upcoming star we all should know about, as she’s making her television debut as Vivien in the series. Her previous work has been in stage productions with Irish drama school The Lir Academy.
Speaking about her role, she said, “Sarah Solemani has blown me away with the detail, sensitivity, and complexity with which she has written Vivien. I can’t wait to bring this vital and little-known story to life.”
While Jo Bloom wrote the novel, screenwriter Sarah Solemani brought the action onto screens. As well as being an actress herself, starring in the likes of Bad Education and Bridget Jones’ Baby, Sarah is a writer and activist.
Ridley road release date
Ridley Road will be on BBC iPlayer from Sunday October 3 2021 at 9pm.
While filming took place from September 2020, it’s been a long time coming for those in production. First announced in August 2019, the show had filming delayed continuously due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic.
Ridley Road trailer
Other must-watch BBC shows released recently include the eye-opening Prince Philip documentary and The Coroner, which returned to the channel for its first series in the summer. While No Time to Die won’t be available to stream for some time yet, you can now go and see it in cinemas around the UK.
We can’t wait to watch!