A Closer Look at Channel 5’s Gripping Thriller The Cuckoo

Channel 5

Channel 5’s new primetime thriller, The Cuckoo, is a four-part series that kicked off on Monday, 8 April 2024, with episodes airing nightly until Thursday, 11 April. The show centres on a family whose plans for a restorative relocation to the countryside collapse into extreme jeopardy.

The series follows the story of Sian (Jill Halfpenny), a lodger who is taken in by married couple Nick (Lee Ingleby) and Jessica (Claire Goose) and their adopted teenage daughter, Alice (Freya Hannan-Mills). Nick and Jessica have just bought their dream home, a grand doer-upper in the countryside town where Jessica grew up. However, as the financial crisis hits, the family falls on hard times. With their daughter pulled out of private school and Nick’s new job still not bringing in enough money, they are forced to take in Sian as a lodger.

Sian is beautiful, flirty, and mysterious. She immediately begins to cause trouble in the family, acting too familiar with Nick, borrowing Jessica’s clothes, and building an increasingly inappropriate rapport with Alice. Jessica soon realises that something more insidious and twisted is going on, and she, Nick, and Alice will be forced to fight for each other and their lives.

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The Cuckoo was created by Barunka O’Shaughnessy for Clapperboard Studios and will be distributed internationally by Abacus Media Rights. O’Shaughnessy penned the first episode, with Rebecca Wojciechowski writing episodes 2-4. Brian O’Malley directs.

Speaking about the series, O’Shaughnessy said: “We wanted to make something with a bit of a nod to those 1990s movies like Single White Female… Then we had this idea of a story about a woman who infiltrates a family.”

Executive Producer Suzi McIntosh commented: “I could not be more excited to be gathering such a fantastic and dynamic cast and crew to make this thriller that will keep us on the edge of our seats throughout. Watch this space, we are all in for a treat.”

Who is Starring in The Cuckoo

Jill Halfpenny

Jill Halfpenny is an English actress who rose to fame playing Nicola Dobson in the BBC drama series Byker Grove from 1989 to 1992. She became more widely known for her roles as Rebecca Hopkins in Coronation Street (1999-2000), Kate Mitchell in EastEnders (2002-2005), and Izzie Redpath in Waterloo Road (2006-2007). Her other notable credits include Babylon (2014), In the Club (2014-2016), Humans (2015), Three Girls (2017), Liar (2017-2020), Dark Money (2019), The Drowning (2021), and The Long Shadow (2023). In addition to her acting career, Halfpenny is also a radio broadcaster on BBC Radio 2.

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Lee Ingleby

Lee Ingleby is an English film, television, and stage actor known for his roles in crime dramas such as Inspector George Gently, Line of Duty, The Hunt For Raoul Moat, and Criminal: UK. He has also appeared in The Long Shadow, Screw, The A Word, Innocent, The Bay, and Hustle, among others. Ingleby’s film credits include Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Ever After: A Cinderella Story, and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.

Claire Goose

Claire Goose is a British actress known for her roles in Casualty, The Bill, and Waking the Dead. She has also appeared in The Coroner, Unforgotten, Mount Pleasant, and The Bay. In 2016, she won the Royal Television Society award for Best Acting Performance for her role in The Coroner.

Freya Hannan-Mills

Freya Hannan-Mills is an up-and-coming actress with credits in Swimming Home (2024), Whitstable Pearl (2021), and A Modern Magician (2019). She has also won several awards for her work, including the Wicked Young Writer Award and the Robert Hutchinson Poetry Award.

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I'm Noah Masire, I look after UK TV News at Memorable TV. From the gripping crime of Happy Valley to the feel good storytelling of All Creatures Great & Small, I bring you the latest news about what's what and who's who in the world of iconic British TV shows. Stay tuned!