BROTHELS and prostitution are an age-old profession and boomed in 18th-century London.
And the third season of BBC drama Harlots delves further into the world of madams and sex workers in the capital in Georgian times, with a host of well-known names taking on some very raunchy roles.
Who’s in in the cast of Harlots?
Harlots is set in London in the 18th century where one in five women are selling their bodies.
It is inspired by Harris’s List Of Covent Garden Ladies, a debauched directory that acted as the yellow pages for prostitution in the 18th century.
With brothels on every corner, the drama focuses on one madam, Margaret Wells and her daughter Charlotte who become embroiled in a turf war with rival madam Lydia Quigley.
Samantha Morton as Madam Margaret Wells
Samantha is best known for her roles in Minority Report, Jane Eyre and Sweet And Lowdown, which earned her Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actress.
She won a Golden Globe in 2008 for her role in the BBC drama Longford and won a Bafta for Best Single Drama for TV film The Unloved, her directorial debut.
In 2019 and 2020 she played Alpha in Walking Dead.
Speaking about Harlots to the BBC, she said the series is “about women, the heartbreak, the cruel reality that is being a woman, the choices we are forced to make and why”.
Jessica Brown Findlay as Charlotte Wells
Jessica is well known to Downton Abbey fans as Lady Sybil Crawley, a role she played from the first episode in 2010 until 2012.
She has also starred in other TV shows including Misfits, Black Mirror, Jamaica Inn and The Outcast.
Speaking to Metro about Harlots, she said: “I’m surprised it took to 2017 to make something like this, but here it is.
“I’m really proud to be a part of it, it’s really exciting.”
Lesley Manville as Lydia Quigley
Lesley is a celebrated English actress who is best known for her work with director Mike Leigh and starred in his films Secrets & Lies, Vera Drake and All or Nothing.
She starred in Rita, Sue And Bob Too, the sitcom Ain’t Misbehaving, dramas Holding On, Cranford, and the BBC sitcom Mum.
Speaking about Harlots to the BBC, she said about the working girls: “It was not so much for the money but just to have a bit of fun.”
Alfie Allen as Isaac Pincher
Alfie is a talented English actor known for his role as Theon Greyjoy on the hit series Game of Thrones.
In 2020 Alfie starred in true crime drama White House Farm.
He is the son of actor Keith Allen and the younger brother of singer Lily Allen.
Liv Tyler as Lady Isabella Fitzwilliam
Liv is an American actress and former model who is best known for playing Arwen Undómiel in the Lord Of The Rings film trilogy.
She began a career in modelling at age 14. She later decided to focus on acting, and made her film debut in Silent Fall (1994).
Liv is the daughter of Aerosmith legend Steve Tyler.
She is in a relationship with David Beckham’s best mate Dave Gardner.
Other season three cast members include:
- Eloise Smyth as Lucy Wells
- Dorothy Atkinson as Florence Scanwell
- Pippa Bennett-Warner as Harriet Lennox
- Kate Fleetwood as Nancy Birch
- Holli Dempsey as Emily Lacey
- Douggie McMeekin as Charles Quigley
- Danny Sapani as William North
- Julian Rhind-Tutt as Harcourt Fitzwilliam
- Anna Calder-Marshall as Mrs May
- Daisey Head as Kate Bottomley
When is Harlots on TV?
Harlots is on BBC Two TONIGHT (October 28) at 9pm.
The channel has bought the show from ITV and has already aired the first two seasons.
The third season lasts for eight episodes.