First images of Aidan Turner and David Tennant in new Disney adaptation of Jilly Cooper’s ‘Rivals’

Disney Plus has shared images and further details of its upcoming eight-part series Rivals.

Rivals is based on the iconic 1988 novel by British author Dame Jilly Cooper. It is one of the Rutshire Chronicles series of novels, set in the fictional English county of Rutshire. The series delves into the lives and shocking antics of the elite classes, where money and power are paramount and life is never dull.

Aidan Turner as Declan O’Hara

What is it about?

The story takes place in 1986 and is set against the backdrop of the cut-throat world of independent television. Aidan Turner is set to play Declan O’Hara, a famous journalist, TV presenter, and family man. Known for his integrity, Declan quickly becomes embroiled in the longstanding rivalry between his employer, the controller of Corinium Television, Lord Bellingham (David Tennant), and the dashing but rakish Conservative MP, Rupert Campbell-Black (Alex Hassell). 

David Tennant as Lord Tony Baddingham
Alex Hassell as Rupert Campbell-Black

Who else is in it?

Nafessa Williams plays a talented American executive hired by Lord Baddingham to produce Declan’s show, with Katherine Parkinson as a frustrated romance novelist, and Bella Maclean as Declan’s kind-hearted but stubborn teenage daughter. The series also stars Emily Atack, Catriona Chandler, Oliver Chris, Danny Dyer, Rufus Jones, Lisa McGrillis, Luke Pasqualino, Claire Rushbrook, and Victoria Smurfit.

Nafessa Williams as Cameron Cook
Katherine Parkinson as Lizzie Vereker

Further images and details will be shared in due course.

The series is produced by Happy Prince, which is part of ITV Studios. It was written by Dominic Treadwell-Collins and Laura Wade. The lead director is BAFTA-nominated Elliot Hegarty (‘Ted Lasso), who also serves as executive producer on episodes 1-4. Eliza Mellor (‘Poldark’) serves as Series Producer. 

When will it air?

We don’t have an exact release date yet, but it has been confirmed that the eight episodes will air on Hulu in the US and on Disney+ in other countries later this year.