‘The Ballad of Renegade Nell’ cast: ‘Derry Girls’ star leads 1700s-set highwaywoman drama

We’ve got some more details on The Ballad of Renegade Nell.

This upcoming period drama is the latest British series to be penned by Sally Wainwright.

The BAFTA award-winning Yorkshire-born writer is the creator of some of our favourite telly from the past decade or so.

Her hits include – take a deep breath – Last Tango in Halifax, Unforgiven, Happy ValleyScott & BaileyTo Walk Invisible, At Home with the Braithwaites, and Gentleman Jack!

With such a strong track record, we’re obviously very excited about her brand new Disney+ show, The Ballad of Renegade Nell.

Originally announced back in April 2021, it’s described as a “swashbuckling new action and fantasy adventure series.”

Eight 45-minute episodes began filming last summer, directed by Amanda Brotchie (Gentleman Jack) and MJ Delaney (Ted Lasso), and we can now confirm the cast.

Leading the talented line-up as the title character is Irish actress Louisa Harland, best known as Orla in Channel 4’s wonderful Derry Girls.

We’re told Nell is “a quick-witted and courageous young woman who finds herself framed for murder and unexpectedly becomes the most notorious highwaywoman in 18th Century England.”

Nell’s two younger sisters Roxy and George will be played by newcomers Bo Bragason and Florence Keen, with Ted Lasso star Nick Mohammed joining them as “a plucky but prickly little spirit” called Billy Blind.

The trio will assist Nell as she realises that fate has put her on the wrong side of the law for a reason much bigger than she could’ve ever imagined.

Adrian Lester (Hustle, Trigger Point) has been cast as Nell’s formidable adversary, the Earl of Poynton, who’s described as “a master political schemer and manipulator.”

His character is set to team up with a young widow with thwarted ambitions called Sofia Wilmot, played by Alice Kremelberg (The Sinner), whose quest for independence becomes indelibly entwined with Nell’s own.

Other familiar faces will include Craig Parkinson (Line of Duty, Grace) as Nell’s widowed father, Joely Richardson (Nip/Tuck) as an eccentric newspaper magnate, Frank Dillane (The Essex Serpent) as charming rogue Charles Devereux, and British period drama stalwart Pip Torrens (The Crown, Poldark) as Lord Blancheford.

The supporting cast also features Jake Dunn (Get Even) as Sofia’s feckless brother, and Enyi Okoronkwo (Giri/Haji) as a spirited stable boy called Rasselas.

When’s the release date?

The Ballad of Renegade Nell will premiere in 2024 on Disney+.

Writer Sally Wainwright also has a new BBC drama called Hot Flush coming up next year, which sounds great fun.

Sadly her acclaimed Gentleman Jack series hasn’t been renewed for a third run.

We’re still crossing a fingers for another season of Last Tango in Halifax too!

Last Tango in Halifax is available on DVD on Amazon.