Better cast: who's who in the thriller series

Better Cast in a promo image behind frosted glass
Better follows an unlikely alliance. (Image credit: BBC)

In Better, we follow a corrupt policewoman fighting for a second chance after she got involved with a ruthless crime boss. The BBC drama was penned by the creators of Spooks and Humans, Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent, so it's a must-watch for fans of these iconic shows.

There's a great cast attached to BBC's Better, including lead actress Leila Farzad who said: "Better is a brilliantly fresh take on the morality tale. I'm excited to have the opportunity to play Lou Slack, the vehicle through which we explore the multivalent layers of good and bad. 

"A complex, flawed yet utterly human character. I feel very lucky to be a part of such a wonderful show with an incredibly talented team attached to it."

Here's everything you need to know about the main cast of Better and where you've seen them before...

Leila Farzad as DI Lou Slack

Leila Farzad as DI Lou Slack in Better.

Leila Farzad as DI Lou Slack in Better. (Image credit: BBC)

DI Lou Slack is a corrupt policewoman who is trying to redeem herself by bringing down crime boss Col McHugh, who she formed an alliance with. The pair have been connected for 19 years but she's trying to get a second chance and make a better life for herself and her family.

Leila Farzad played the role of Naomi Jones in the Sky Atlantic series I Hate Suzie and its sequel I Hate Suzie Too. She has also had roles in Avenue 5 and The Fear Index

Andrew Buchan as Col McHugh

Better star Andrew Buchan as Col McHugh.

Better star Andrew Buchan as Col McHugh. (Image credit: BBC)

Col McHugh is a complex, flawed character. He is a charismatic but deadly gang boss who was raised by an alcoholic father. As a result of this childhood trauma, Col doesn't want to be anything like his dad. He struck a deal with Lou which enabled him to become the rich and powerful head of a drug trafficking gang while masquerading as a charming businessman.

He's played by Andrew Buchan who is known for playing Mark Latimer in the hit series Broadchurch and Andrew Parker Bowles in The Crown. He has also starred in This England and ITV drama The Fixer. 

Samuel Edward-Cook as Ceri

Samuel Edward-Cook as Ceri

Samuel Edward-Cook as Ceri. (Image credit: BBC)

Ceri is Lou’s husband. They are childhood sweethearts and have a son named Owen. Ceri has his own business, he works construction, and he's desperately trying to hold his family together even when things get incredibly difficult.

This character is played by Peaky Blinders and Emmerdale actor Samuel Edward-Cook.

Zak Ford-Williams as Owen

Zak Ford-Williams plays Owen

Zak Ford-Williams plays Owen. (Image credit: BBC)

Owen is Ceri and Lou's 17-year-old son, and he has a lot to contend with during the events of Better. As well as dealing with all the trials and tribulations that come with being a teenager, he's dealing with his mum having a less-than-sparkling career which could put him in danger.

He's played by Wolfe star Zak Ford-Williams. Better will be Zak's second TV role.

Ceallach Spellman as Donal

Ceallach Spellman plays Donal McHugh

Ceallach Spellman plays Donal McHugh. (Image credit: BBC)

Donal is Col's son, who definitely feels the pressure of him trying to live up to his dad's expectations since he doesn't exactly have a normal life. He crosses paths with Lou's son Owen which changes things for him as he's never really had any friends and Owen brings out different parts of him.

Ceallach Spellman is known for his roles in Cold Feet, White Lines, and Waterloo Road.

Who else is in Better?

  • Olivia Nakintu as Esther
  • Anton Lesser as Vernon
  • Lucy Black as Sandy
  • Garry Cooper as Bulgey
  • Mark Monero as Lord Roy
  • Kaya Moore as Noel
  • Carolin Stoltz as Alma
  • Gavin Spokes as Phil

The five-part thriller Better launches in the UK on BBC One on Monday, February 13 at 9 pm. The drama will also be shown as a box set on BBCiPlayer from that date.

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress