‘Downton’ and ‘Endeavour’ stars join cast of new India-set period drama ‘Beecham House’

The cast has been announced for ITV’s new period drama created by the writer and director of Bend It Like Beckham.

Set on the cusp of the 19th century in India, Beecham House is written by Gurinder Chadha (Viceroy’s House), Paul Mayeda Berges (Viceroy’s House), Shahrukh Husain (In Custody) and Victor Levin (Mad Men).

The six-part series began filming last month in India and at Ealing Studios, London.

The story is based in Delhi, before the British ruled the region, and follows the residents of Beecham House, an imposing mansion surrounded by acres of exotic woods and pristine lawns.

Tom Bateman (Vanity Fair, Jekyll and Hyde) will play the enigmatic, soulful John Beecham, a handsome former soldier who has purchased Beecham House to begin a new life with his family.

Lesley Nicol (Downton Abbey) will play his robust, interfering mother Henrietta.

Bessie Carter (Les Miserables) will play young family friend Violet.

Marc Warren (Hustle) will play Samuel Parker and Leo Suter (Victoria) will play Daniel, who have both left the East India Company.

Gregory Fitoussi (Mr Selfridge) will play General Castillon, a French mercenary.

Shriya Pilgaonkar and Trupti Khamkar will play two Indian nursemaids, Chanchal and Maya.

Adil Ray (Citizen Khan) will play John’s neighbour Murad Beg and Kanika Kapur will play his daughter, Roshanara.

Dakota Blue Richards (Endeavour) will play their English governess, Margaret Osborne.

ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill commented: “Tom Bateman is perfect casting as John Beecham and we’re thrilled Lesley Nicol, Adil Ray, Pallavi Sharda, Marc Warren and Gregory Fitoussi have agreed to play such key roles.

“Gurinder brings a fresh take to period drama, but at its heart are wonderful characters and a compelling story that will make this a treat in the ITV schedule next year.”

Writer Gurinder Chadha added: “Beecham House is a passion project that is driven by my commitment to telling diverse, emotionally engaging stories for mainstream international audiences. I am thrilled to be working with Polly Hill and ITV Drama who share my belief that period drama can be entertaining, ambitious and relevant to key issues of today.

“I am assembling a vibrant cast of British and Indian actors to play original characters that will appeal to global audiences hungry to see stories from a unique point of view. I grew up with Raj dramas like Jewel in the Crown, The Far Pavilions and A Passage To India. Beecham House is my chance to tell those stories from a British Asian perspective.”

Beecham House will air in the UK on ITV in 2019.