Holliday Grainger to star in BBC adaptation of JR Rowling's detective novels

Holliday Grainger

The Borgias star Holliday Grainger will play the female lead in the BBC's adaptation of JK Rowling's Cormoran Strike novels

Holliday Grainger has signed up to star in the BBC’s adaptation of JK Rowling’s crime novels.

Holliday, who recently starred in Lady Chatterley’s Lover, has been cast as Robin Ellacott in the new BBC1 series, opposite Tom Burke as the detective, Cormoran Strike.

JK penned the Cormoran Strike series of novels – The Cuckoo’s Calling, The Silkworm and Career Of Evil – under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

Tom Burke (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Tom Burke (Jonathan Brady/PA)


Holliday, whose credits also include Cinderella and Anna Karenina, will play the female lead in the TV drama, which begins shooting in London this month.

She said: “I’m thrilled to be joining the talented creative team behind the Strike series, especially with the role of Robin Ellacott.

“Her grounded strength and intelligence is going to be a joy to explore. I can’t wait to dive straight into the wit and grit of Strike’s cannily well-observed London.”

Harry Potter author JK said: “I couldn’t be more delighted about the casting of Holliday Grainger, who brought my Robin to perfect on-screen life during her audition.

JK Rowling (AP)

JK Rowling (Lefteris Pitarakis/AP)


“We’ve now secured two superb actors in the lead roles and I think they will create something very special together.”

Holliday will play Robin, assistant to Strike, a private detective operating out of a tiny office in London’s Denmark Street.

Though she starts work as a temporary secretary, managing Strike’s chaotic life, she soon realises her full potential.

The Cuckoo’s Calling was published to critical acclaim in 2013 and went on – after JK’s identity was revealed – to be a bestseller, followed by The Silkworm in 2014 and Career Of Evil in 2015.

The BBC’s adaptation of JK’s 2012 novel The Casual Vacancy screened last year.

Tom’s casting was announced in September.


Patrick McLennan

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.