Sex Education‘s Simone Ashley has been cast as lead Kate Sharma in Bridgerton season 2. Based on Julia Quinn’s popular book series, Bridgerton premiered on Netflix on Christmas Day and was an instant hit, becoming the streamer’s biggest show ever. Often described as Gossip Girl meets Pride & Prejudice, the series is set in Regency Era-London during the early 1800s. It follows the aristocratic Bridgerton family’s lives during the competitive debutante season, all narrated by gossip writer Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews). While season 1 primarily focused on the tumultuous romance between eldest Bridgerton daughter Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and the Duke of Hastings Simon (Regé-Jean Page), season 2 will follow Bridgerton sibling Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) setting out to find his own love interest.
Now Bridgerton has found its season 2 female lead in Simone Ashley, according to Deadline. Known for her role as mean girl Olivia Hanan on Netflix’s hit British series Sex Education, Ashley will star opposite Bailey’s Anthony as his love interest Kate Sharma. New to London, Kate is described as a “smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools,” including Anthony. With season 2 set to continue the multi-racial world created in season 1, Bridgerton producers have changed Kate Sharma, who was named Kate Sheffield in the books, to be of Indian descent.
Bridgerton season 2, which is set to go into production in the spring, is based on the second novel of the series, The Viscount Who Loved Me. Fans of the books will remember The Viscount Who Loved Me saw Anthony setting his sights on Edwina Sheffield before finding himself drawn to Edwina’s older sister, Kate, who is described in the novels as “the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom.” While not many details surrounding season 2 of the Shondaland series have been revealed, series creator Chris Van Dusen has promised the new season of Bridgerton will feature many new characters, starting with Kate.