2019 was another great year for television and brought us many new names which have already become household favourites, so as one year (and indeed decade) draws to a close, it's time to look ahead at the 20 names with huge potential to become household names in 2020.
Grime artist Big Zuu, from West London, is making the move to television in 2020 with his own TV show Big Zuu's Big Eats on Dave which showcases his passion for cooking. Each episode in the 10-part series will see him prepare mouth-watering, made-to-order dishes for a famous comedian on tour in the UK including Rosie Jones and Desiree Burch.
"Having my own TV series has been a dream come true. I've grown up obsessed with watching cooking programmes and making homemade food, so to now be able to do that on TV is a surreal feeling."
Pictured here on the right, newcomer Callum Scott Howells plays Colin Morris-Jones in Russell T Davies' new Channel 4 drama Boys, which charts the joy and heartbreak of four friends during a decade in which everything changed.
He'll star alongside Olly Alexander and Omari Douglas as a quiet, unassuming, boy from Wales who's about to become an apprentice on Savile Row, one of three young gay lads thrown together at the start of a new decade in London in 1981, growing up in the shadow of AIDS.
Find out more about Boys here.
Newcomer Dayle Hudson will be joining EastEnders in 2020 as Peter Beale, becoming the seventh actor to take on the role. The character was last seen on screen in 2015, leaving for New Zealand with fiancé Lauren Branning to start a new life in New Zealand, joining his half-brother Steven. But what brings him back to Albert Square after all these years?
"I am really grateful and excited to have the opportunity to work on such an institution of British television, alongside some incredible actors."
Find out more about his return here.
Not content with starring in one highly-anticipated drama this year, newcomer Dipo Ola will star in Channel 4's new six-part crime thriller Baghdad Central and Alibi's new six-part thriller We Hunt Together which begins with with the collision of two extraordinary people, one of which is Dipo's character Baba, a former child soldier desperate to suppress his violent conditioning.
"It's an honour to be part of the We Hunt Together team. Baba is a very complex and conflicted character and I'm excited to dive in and really un-pick his multitude of layers."
This January, Eva O'Hara joins the cast of Hollyoaks as Verity Hutchinson, Tony's sister and Edward's daughter and makes quite the impression, especially on Sami. But what will she make of her father's relationship with Diane?
“I’ve been totally bowled over by the wonderful team at Hollyoaks. Verity has a fascinating balance of ruthlessness and compassion, making her one to watch… I’ve found myself feeling jealous of her fearlessness at times!”
Find out more about her opening storyline here.
Comedian Jayde Adams is wasting no time in making 2020 hers, with Serious Black Jumper, her first recorded stand-up special arriving on Amazon Prime Video on 3rd January. She'll soon be following that up by hosting Channel 4's new show Crazy Delicious, which sees three passionate and inventive cooks create dishes that are both a taste sensation and a feast for the eyes whilst Heston Blumenthal, Carla Hall and Niklas Ekstedt judge.
"I said to the universe a year ago that I wanted to host a food show and here it is! I feel like one of the luckiest women in the world. I cannot wait for you all to see it.”
Find out more about Crazy Delicious here.
Following a successful run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2019, comedian Lucy Beaumont is making serious waves in 2020 with her own sitcom on Dave which she's co-written with Car Share writer Tim Reid. Meet the Richardsons sees Lucy and husband Jon Richardson play exaggerated versions of themselves as viewers get a glimpse into their home and work lives, surrounded by their celebrity friends and their Hebden Bridge neighbours.
"We've both found our marriage really hard so having a TV crew following us around for 6 weeks and being paid money to talk about Jon's bald spot and in a controlling nature is really going to help us."
Read my review of her new stand-up show Space Mam here.
Canadian comedian Mae Martin will arrive on E4 (and Netflix internationally) in 2020 with her very own sitcom entitled Feel Good which sees her delve into her own story, exploring love, addiction and where the two intersect. Charlotte Ritchie will play Mae's new girlfriend, George whilst Friends legend Lisa Kudrow will play Mae’s powerful and charismatic mother Linda who, despite living in Canada, still impacts Mae’s life from afar.
“I’m especially pumped to be co-writing Mae and George with my best friend Joe Hampson. He has such an incredible head of hair. We are excited to make a show that is both funny and sad, like our lives, and I hope they’ve factored therapy into the budget because I’m already hanging by a thread.”
Announced back in 2016, Masali Baduza has had to wait years to make her big television debut in BBC One's adaptation of Malorie Blackman's Noughts + Crosses, but thankfully there's not long left to wait now until we meet Masali's character Sephy in this gripping story of first love in a dangerous, alternate world where racism divides society.
Her and her boyfriend Callum (played by Jack Rowan) are divided by their colour but united by forbidden love and burning injustice. They fight for more than simply the right to be together, in a contemporary dystopian State where strict race laws make daily existence a matter of life and death.
Starring alongside Martin Compston and Sophie Rundle in your first TV gig is not bad going. Mirren Mack will star in BBC One's new five-part drama The Nest, from Nicole Taylor, about a wealthy couple and a teenage girl who make a pact that will change all of their lives forever.
Mirren plays 18 year-old Kaya who by chance meets wealthy couple Dan and Emily who live in a huge house in a beautiful location just outside Glasgow. She's from the other side of the city, but when she agrees to carry their baby, it feels like they were meant to meet. But was it really by chance?
Pictured here on the right, Natalie Dew will star alongside Sophie Thompson, David Walliams and Sanjeev Bhaskar in Gold's new original comedy Sandylands. Eagle-eyed viewers of Gavin & Stacey might recognise her as the doctor who has to break the news to Gavin that he has a very low sperm count.
In Sandylands she'll play 27 year-old Emily Verma, daughter to Sanjeev Bhaskar's Les Vegas who remains a local celebrity as arcade owner and self-proclaimed 'King of the Strip'. Now living in London, Emily is forced to make a reluctant visit home after a pedalo last hired by Les is washed ashore. But she quickly discovers that all is definitely not what it seems in her old stomping ground.
Newcomer Nathan Quinn-O’Rawe, pictured here on the right alongside Sinéad Keenan, will star as schoolboy Mick in BBC Three's adaptation of the award-winning play, My Left Nut - a three-part coming of age comedy drama about friendship, family, grief and testicles.
It follows Mick who discovers a swelling on his testicle, but has no one to tell. His father died seven years ago, his mum has a million other things on her plate and he can't tell his schoolmates. And it’s not like it’s going to complicate things between Mick and his first girlfriend anyway, right?
He's already appeared in a number of sitcoms, but 2020 is set to be the year Nick Mohammed (pictured on the left) becomes a household name thanks to Intelligence, the comedy he's written for Sky One which will see him star alongside David Schwimmer. Based in Cheltenham, the series is set in the UK’s highly regarded Government Communications Headquarters. A weedier, geekier, more bureaucratic version of MI5 and MI6.
“Getting to work with David has been an absolute dream come true. He’s collaborative, honest and exquisitely funny and I couldn’t be more delighted and flattered by his involvement."
Find out more about Intelligence here.
Newcomer Omari Douglas plays London-born 17-year-old Roscoe Babatunde in Russell T Davies' new Channel 4 drama Boys, which charts the joy and heartbreak of four friends during a decade in which everything changed.
He'll star alongside Olly Alexander and Callum Scott-Howells as a wild, brittle party boy, always on the run, one of three young gay lads thrown together at the start of a new decade in London in 1981, growing up in the shadow of AIDS.
Find out more about Boys here.
Paul Mescal will make his first television performance as Connell in BBC Three's Normal People, the highly-anticipated 12-part television adaptation of Sally Rooney's exquisite and compulsive modern love story about how two people can profoundly impact each other’s lives.
The series tracks the tender but complicated relationship of Daisy Edgar-Jones' character Marianne and Connell from the end of their school days in small-town west of Ireland to their undergraduate years at Trinity College. At school, he’s well-liked and popular, while she’s lonely, proud and intimidating. But when Connell comes to pick up his mother from her cleaning job at Marianne’s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers - one they are determined to conceal. A year later, they’re both studying in Dublin and Marianne has found her feet in a new social world but Connell hangs at the side lines, shy and uncertain.
Soon to be starring alongside Michaela Coel in her BBC/HBO series January 22nd is Samson Ajewole who like many people on this list has performed many times in the theatre before transitioning to television.
We don't know much about who he'll play in this London-set provocative drama, exploring the question of sexual consent in contemporary life and how, in the new landscape of dating and relationships, we make the distinction between liberation and exploitation.
Fans of hit Channel 4 show The Circle will already be familiar with Sophie Willan's voice as she narrates the series, however after winning the BBC’s inaugural Caroline Aherne Bursary Award in 2018, 2020 will see her sitcom pilot Alma's Not Normal air on BBC Two. The 30-minute pilot follows Boltonian wild-child, Alma Nuthall and her family of eccentric, unruly women.
“I’m so incredibly excited to be delivering my pilot for BBC Two. It is a dream come true! I’m really proud of the script and can’t wait to share my world and characters with everyone!”
Find out more about Alma's Not Normal here.
TV newcomer Stevie Basaula has starred in numerous theatre productions, most notably Macbeth at the RSC, but ahead of starring in the second series of Sky One's Bulletproof alongside Ashley Walters and Noel Clarke, he turned up in EastEnders on New Year's Day as it was finally revealed who Sheree's mystery man was - her son Isaac whose fiercely confident and not afraid to speak his mind.
“I feel very blessed to be a part of such an iconic show. Like many of us around the country, EastEnders is something I’ve grown up with so it excites me to be bringing to life the part of Isaac.”
Newcomer Tanya Maniktala will star alongside Ishaan Khatter and Tabu in the first screen adaptation of Vikram Seth’s classic novel A Suitable Boy, which has been adapted by Andrew Davies and tells the story of Tanya's character Lata, a spirited university student.
She's coming of age in North India in 1951, the same time as the country is carving out its own identity as an independent nation and is about to go to the polls for its first democratic general election. It promises to be a vast, panoramic tale charting the fortunes of four large families and exploring India and its rich and varied culture at a crucial point in its history.
Back in 2010, Todrick Hall made it to the semi-finals of American Idol, in 2016 he was a guest judge on RuPaul's Drag Race and he has choreographed for the likes of Beyonce and Taylor Swift but 2020 is set to be HIS YEAR, in the UK at least as he joins BBC One's The Greatest Dancer as the fourth dance captain, sitting alongside Cheryl, Matthew Morrison and Oti Mabuse.
"As a performer who has danced my whole life and been a contestant on a reality competition show, it's wild to see my career come full circle this way. I'm looking forward to working with the upcoming talent and to join the BBC family for the second season of a show that has proven to be a huge, smashing success."