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Simone Ashley joins 'Bridgerton' Season 2

Simone Ashley and Asa Butterfield on the set of Sex Education.
Simone Ashley and Asa Butterfield on the set of Sex Education. (Image credit: Jon Hall/Netflix)

Netflix has announced that Simone Ashley will be joining the second season of Bridgerton as a lead actor. 

She joins the cast as Kate Sharma, a young woman who will feature opposite Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) as his love interest in season 2. 

Kate will turn Anthony’s head as his newest love interest following his ultimate rejection at the hands of Siena, his opera singer mistress. Following this breakdown, he told his sister, Daphne, that he had his sights set on ‘finding and promptly declaring my intentions to my new viscountess’ during the final moments of Bridgerton's first season.

Simone Ashley’s character is based on the character of Kate Sheffield from Julia Quinn’s second Bridgerton novel, The Viscount Who Loved Me. Sharma is a new arrival to London, and attracts the attention of the eldest Bridgerton sibling straight away.

If the second season follows the novel's storyline, Anthony will start out engaged to Edwina, Kate’s younger, less stubborn sister. Anthony and Kate will ultimately come to blows over something, lighting the spark between them and launching their own relationship.

Netflix announced Simone Ashley’s casting on Twitter, where they called Kate a ‘smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools’. 

The full announcement can be seen below:

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Simone Ashley is best known for playing Olivia Hanan in Netflix’s teen comedy-drama series Sex Education. She has also featured in the British crime drama Broadchurch and in ITV’s psychological thriller series The Sister. 

Bridgerton Season 2 will focus on Anthony Bridgerton much in the same way that each of Julia Quinn's novels has followed a particular Bridgerton sibling. The first season followed the tumultuous relationship between Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings (Regé Jean-Page). 

The series has been a massive success for Netflix, who revealed just how popular the series has been in its first month on the streaming platform earlier this year.