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Noughts + Crosses - Casting announced for hugely anticipated BBC1 drama

Noughts & Crosses BBC1
(Image credit: BBC/Mammoth Screen/Ilze Kitshoff)

The adaptation of Malorie Blackman's book series Noughts + Crosses has begun filming and the cast is set to feature lots of familiar faces.

The new BBC 1 drama Noughts + Crosses, which has been adapted from Blackman's award-winning book series for young adults, has begun filming in South Africa.

The new six-part series will follow two young characters, Sephy and Callum, who are divided by their colour. Sephy is a Cross - a member of the black ruling class, but Callum is a Nought, a white member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses.

The two have been friends since they were children, but despite that being as far as their relationship is allowed to go, their feelings for one another grow as they come of age. Noughts + Crosses will tell the complicated story of how the pair struggle as their families are separated by power and prejudice.

Actor Jack Rowan, from Peaky Blinders and Born to Kill, will play Callum McGregor, and newcomer Masali Baduza has been cast as the lead role of Sephy Hadley.

There will be plenty of other familiar faces appearing in the series, with Cold Feet's Helen Baxendale and The Last Kingdon's Ian Hart playing Callum's parents Meggie and Ryan, while Josh Dylan from recent cinema hit, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, will play his older brother Jude.  

Speaking about her books being adapted for television, author Malorie Blackman said: "I’m thrilled that the TV dramatisation of Noughts & Crosses has such an amazing cast to bring the story to the screen.  It will be so exciting to see how the writers and actors open up the world I created, adding new breadth and detail."

Malorie has written over 60 books for children and young adults and another of her books, Pig-Heart Boy was also adapted for the television and went on to win a BAFTA.

Talking about Noughts + Crosses Executive producer Preethi Mavahalli says: "It is an absolute honour to be adapting this treasured novel for television.  We are delighted to have such a phenomenal cast bringing this iconic love story to the screen for both existing fans and a whole new audience."