CONFIRMED: Michael Gambon to star in BBC’s adaptation of “The Casual Vacancy”

UPDATE: Read the official press release on BBC.

[toggle title=”The Casual Vacancy Casting Press Release” state=”close” ] The first confirmed cast for the BBC One mini-series, in association with HBO, adaptation of JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy has been announced today.

The confirmed cast includes Michael Gambon, Keeley Hawes, Rory Kinnear, Monica Dolan, Julia McKenzie, and introduces Abigail Lawrie.

BAFTA Award-winning actor Michael Gambon (Quirke, The Singing Detective) is set to play Howard Mollison, owner of the Pagford delicatessen, with Julia McKenzie (Notes On A Scandal, Shirley Valentine) playing his wife Shirley. Howard’s son Miles is being played by Rufus Jones (Bill, W1A) with his wife Samantha Mollison being played by Keeley Hawes (Line Of Duty, Ashes To Ashes). Rory Kinnear (Skyfall, Penny Dreadful), who recently won the Olivier Award for Best Actor for his role as Iago in Nicholas Hytner’s production of Othello at the National Theatre, is to play Barry Fairbrother, Keeley Forsyth (Coronation Street, Emmerdale) is playing Terri Weedon with newcomer Abigail Lawrie cast as her daughter Krystal Weedon.

Monica Dolan (Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, Sightseers), who won a BAFTA Award for her portrayal of Rose West in Julian Jarrold’s Appropriate Adult, will play Tess Wall with Simon McBurney (Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy, Last King Of Scotland) playing her husband Colin Wall. Richard Glover (A Field In England, Sightseers) has been cast to play Simon Price alongside Marie Critchley (In The Flesh, Emmerdale) playing his wife Ruth Price. Michelle Austin (Secrets & Lies, Another Year) will play Kay Bawden.

Other cast soon to be announced includes Parminder, Vikram and Sukhvinder Jawanda, Gaia Bawden, and other key characters including Mary Fairbrother, Maureen Lowe, Lexie and Libby Mollison, and Andrew and Paul Price.

The BBC One miniseries, in association with HBO, is an adaptation of JK Rowling’s global bestseller The Casual Vacancy and consists of three one-hour parts. Production begins on 7 July in South West England.

The Casual Vacancy centres on Pagford, a seemingly idyllic English village with a cobbled market square and ancient abbey. Behind the pretty façade, however, is a town at war: rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.

The Casual Vacancy is being produced by Bronte Film and Television, the independent production company run by JK Rowling and Neil Blair, who is executive producing with Paul Trijbits (Saving Mr. Banks, Golden Globe winner Dancing On The Edge”) and Rick Senat. It was commissioned by Danny Cohen, Director of BBC Television, and Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama.

The miniseries is written by Sarah Phelps (the BBC’s Great Expectations and The Crimson Field), produced by Ruth Kenley-Letts (The Tunnel, the Emmy winner The Hour) and will be directed by Jonny Campbell (BAFTA winning mini series In the Flesh, BAFTA winner Eric & Ernie). Lucy Bevan (Maleficent, Cinderella) is the show’s Casting Director. Tony Slater-Ling (The Politician’s Husband, In The Flesh) is the show’s Director of Photography. Production Design is by Sami Khan (Catch Me Daddy), the Costume Designer is Rhona Russell (Scott and Bailey) and Editor Tom Hemmings (Misfits, The Tunnel).

JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy has sold more than six million copies worldwide since its publication in 2012.


We posted in April about the new television mini-series based on the adult novel written by J.K. Rowling after the Harry Potter series had come to an end and have been anxiously waiting for some casting news to surface. Today we get our first look at who will star in the series!

Two previous Harry Potter alumni have signed on to star in the television production of J.K. Rowling’s first post-Potter novel, The Casual Vacancy. Sir Michael Gambon has been cast as council leader Howard Mollison, while actor Simon McBurney, the voice of Kreacher in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, will play head teacher Colin “Cubby” Wall.

The BBC-HBO production on the three-part mini-series is slated to begin filming in August.

We will keep you updated as more information becomes available! For more information on the novel, check out our book page here.

Does the first casting news for The Casual Vacancy have you excited? Let us know what you think about Gambon and McBurney’s appearance in the production of Rowling’s novel by commenting below!

  • ParminderforPresident

    I imagined Howard Mollison as being in his 60s, but Michael Gambon would be a casting coup.

    • Aimee Krenz

      Oh most definitely! I really hope this rumor is true – He is such a talented actor!

  • Callum

    A great selection of British acting talent – really hope this turns out to be true!

  • Victoria Rose Wait

    This is really exciting! Hope this is true!

  • Christina Vourcos

    It would be really neat if there were some of the Harry Potter alums to be part of the BBC’s adaptation of “The Casual Vacancy.” I’m sure MuggleNet will update when there is a official word about any casting.

    • Aimee Krenz

      It’s confirmed now! See the press release that came out, which we added to the top of the article 🙂

  • Donna Courtney

    Yes!! This gets me so excited!!

  • Stephanie

    Yess! This is great!

  • Ally Loper

    So happy!! Can’t wait to see him in another JK work!

  • jgat

    I should try rereading the book… I had a hard time staying interested.

  • Oswin

    I am confused, is it confirmed or not. The title says confirmed but then it says “this is just a rumor until it is confirmed”.

    • Aimee Krenz

      We updated once the press release came out – it has now been confirmed, but we do leave the original article up as well. Hope that helps sort it for you! 🙂

  • Serra Vargas

    So excited to see this!!! It’ll be nice to have Michael Gambon in it, I think.

  • Viki Marden

    Really excited about the news xx

  • Casey Mollet

    I am so excited about this! Loved the book!

  • Marissa

    Definitely excited about this. I really enjoyed the book and love the idea that it will be a miniseries. That will do it so much more justice than a simple 2 hours movie. And I love that there will be some Potter crossover in actors.

  • Donn Loper

    This is so exciting! Glad to see JKs books become films once more!

  • William C Michau

    Apparently this needs to be on my reading list as well! So excited to see Sir Michael in another one of JK’s works!

    • Aimee Krenz

      Me too! I haven’t had a chance to read the book, but now I will have to since he is involved. So excited!

  • Nalynessa

    I feel like he will definitely bring a lot to the character. Loved this book so so much!!

  • stephen_cone

    Sounds great!

  • Julie Jordan

    I wonder how many people will watch? It seems like the book wasn’t that popular.

  • ChambrayLynn

    I might watch it now!

  • Abaddon

    i really want to watch this show

  • Angelina M. O’Leary

    I’m super excited to watch this now!

  • McBirkeland

    Ooooooh I want to see it!

  • This is awesome! I can’t wait to see this.

  • Emily Bryan

    Aaaah brilliant! I can’t wait for this! 🙂

  • kamilah t

    Nice, this should be a good role for Gambon

  • JeffDowning

    I am looking forward to this. I love BBC productions.

  • sue

    Can’t wait to see this! The book was great, and bbc productions are always well done.

  • AshQuill

    Haven’t read the book yet, but it looks like it’s gonna be a stellar cast.