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Disney+ has released a first look at six iconic characters from their upcoming adaptation of Dame Jilly Cooper's Rivals.

Described as an eight-part blockbuster saga, Rivals, which launches later this year on Disney+, is based on the iconic novel by Dame Jilly Cooper, which is part of her Rutshire Chronicles series packed full of romantic entanglements, dastardly deals, sex and wit.

Set against the backdrop of the drama, excess, and shocking antics of the power-grabbing social elite of 1980s England, Rivals delves headfirst into the ruthless world of independent television in 1986.

The images released today, are of six of the series' iconic characters including Alex Hassell as the dashing ex-Olympian, Member of Parliament, incorrigible rake, and dangerously charismatic Rupert Campbell-Black and David Tennant as Lord Tony Baddingham, controller of Corinium Television and Rupert’s single-mindedly ambitious and egotistical adversary.

Aidan Turner stars as journalist and TV presenter Declan O’Hara, who becomes caught in the crossfire of the long-simmering feud between Rupert and Tony and Nafessa Williams as Cameron Cook, a ferociously talented American TV executive who is brought to England by Tony to produce Declan’s new prime-time talk show.

Other images show Katherine Parkinson as Lizzie Vereker, a romantic novelist suffering from a distinct lack of romance in her life and Bella Maclean as Taggie O’Hara, Declan’s tender-hearted yet strong-willed eldest daughter and unexpected temptation for Rupert.

Rivals also stars Emily Atack, Catriona Chandler, Oliver Chris, Danny Dyer, Rufus Jones, Lisa McGrillis, Luke Pasqualino, Claire Rushbrook, and Victoria Smurfit, with further images to be released in due course.

Produced by Happy Prince, part of ITV Studios, Rivals is directed by Elliot Hegarty as well as Dee Koppang O’Leary and Alexandra Brodski, was cast by Kelly Valentine Hendry and executive produced by Dominic Treadwell-Collins, Alexander Lamb, Felicity Blunt, Elliot Hegarty Laura Wade, Dame Jilly Cooper and Lee Mason.

The series was written by Dominic Treadwell-Collins and Laura Wade alongside the series episodic writers room which includes Sophie Goodhart, Marek Horn, Mimi Hare and Clare Naylor, Dare Aiyegbayo and Kefi Chadwick with Tray Agyeman as a shadow writer on episode 6 and Sorcha Kurien Walsh as staff writer in the room.

Rivals launches later this year on Disney+


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