In Kate and Koji season 2 it’s business as usual for opinionated, pinny-clad caff-owner, Kate (Brenda Blethyn) and her asylum seeker, doctor friend Koji.
The cafe doors are open, the kettle is on, and the regulars are back. However, there is one notable change - Okorie Chukwu has replaced Jimmy Akingbola as Koji.
Here’s everything you need to know about the new series…
Kate and Koji season 2 - when and where you can watch
Kate and Koji season 2 debuts on ITV on Wednesday, March 16 2022 at 9pm. It will also be available on ITV Hub.
Who’s who in Kate and Koji season 2
Two-time Oscar nominee and Vera star Brenda Blethyn plays politically incorrect cafe-owner Kate.
Okorie Chukwu (War of the Worlds) stars as Koji, the calm and composed African asylum seeker and doctor. Koji was portrayed by Jimmy Akingbola in the first series.
Speaking to What To Watch Brenda said: “Naturally when we heard Jimmy wasn't going to be here, we thought, ‘How are they going to fill his shoes?’ But Okorie is perfect - we were lucky to get him. And it was great for Jimmy to get Bel-Air, especially as we were cancelled for a year because of COVID.”
Blake Harrison (The Inbetweeners) reprises the role of Kate’s nephew Medium and Barbara Flynn (Cracker) is back as Kate’s nemesis, Councillor Lavinia Bone.
"Blake is so creative and funny," says Brenda, who adds: "And Barbara is heaven to be around. We were at The National at the same time, in different plays - but I can't remember which plays! She’s a wonderful jewellery maker. If you want a special necklace, check out Barbara Flynn Necklaces. I bought three last week!"
Victor McGuire (Bread) is in situ as dour cafe regular Mr Mulholland, Kris Saddler (Adult Material) returns naive-but-endearing Nick, Gary Lammin (Underworld) stars as Kate’s put upon Postman and Rosalind Ayres (Outnumbered) returns as gentle Iris.
Okorie told What To Watch: “They’ve been wonderful in welcoming me to the team. And Brenda’s an absolute riot! When I read the script I connected with Koji instantly. The work was about understanding creators Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin’s comedy and timing while working with everyone.”
Are there any special guest stars?
How many Kate and Koji episodes are in season 2?
There are six new thirty minute episodes.
When viewers return to the fictional town of Seagate, Koji is awaiting a decision on his asylum application while Kate is still wrangling with her regulars, especially Medium, Mr Mulholland, Nick and her nemesis, Councillor Lavinia Bone.
Other tasty new storylines include Koji managing the cafe, Kate running for election against bitter rival Councillor Bone, and Medium writing a book!
Okorie told WTW: “The characters' relationships have developed because Koji’s been going through the asylum process for over a year.”
See below for our Kate and Koji season 2 episode guide
We promise @BrendaBlethyn & @okorie_chukwu are VERY professional comedy actors. You could be in the audience to watch the live recording of these consummate professionals. Get free tickets to the remaining shows on 4th, 11th & 18th Feb here - https://t.co/7sDMaCJ4DR #KateandKoji pic.twitter.com/FeftGBYPIcFebruary 2, 2022
Where is Kate and Koji filmed?
The series is filmed on location in Kent and at Elstree Studios in front of a live audience.
“This is my first experience of live-audience comedy and it's fascinating the energy you get. The audience are so there for you. Everyone's there to have fun,” says Okorie, who admits there were a few learning curves. “I had my biggest lesson yet - reduce the amount of props you use. If you get that tea towel wrong on your shoulder you’re going to do another ten takes!”
“The audience loves it when something goes wrong,” laughs Brenda. “In the first recording poor Okorie walks in, hangs his coat up and the peg falls off the wall. We all had to pull ourselves together!”
She adds: "I was amazed at how many people came out to Elstree Studios because it was freezing when we were filming!"
How popular is Kate and Koji?
When Kate and Koji debuted on ITV in March 2020 sitcom fans took the comedy about a classic sea-side cafe to their hearts, and the first series averaged just under five million viewers across its first run.
Speaking about the sitcom’s appeal Okorie said: “What's so good about this sitcom is it really captures the light and dark; the experience of Koji going through the asylum process but also his dynamic relationships in the caff. It’s not heavy, but you get comedy and a bit of drama. There’s such a warm feeling with the topics explored. The café is a space, not only for food but for conversation and socializing.”
Brenda added: “It's the perfect situation. You've got a decent man, a qualified doctor, who happens to be an asylum seeker, and he’s not allowed to work when we’re short of doctors. Kate says she’d rather have Koji as a British citizen than most British people! I miss watching comedies with an audience. It’s kind-of old-fashioned, but it works. It’s like you're sharing the experience.”
Kate and Koji season 2 episode guide
Kate and Koji season 2 - episode 1 - 'Lockdown Legends.'
Kate goes through a varied menu of emotions when she discovers mortal enemy Councillor Bone is presenting her with an award. Naturally this causes a brew-ha-ha, but you can bet your fry-up that Kate will have the last laugh. Meanwhile, Koji anxiously awaits news of his asylum application.
Speaking about the opening episode Brenda said: “Kate and Medium are presented with a Lockdown Legends Award. But the shine is taken off proceedings when their local MP gets caught in flagrante and Councillor Bone presents it!”
Kate and Koji season 2 - episode 2 - 'Koji in Charge.'
Opinionated cafe owner Kate is well acquainted with putting her foot in her mouth, but having her foot in a cast is a whole new experience. She claims she fell off a curb. The truth, however, turns out to be less savoury! To give her a break, Koji helps out at the caff. But when he makes culinary changes that prove popular with the customers, will Kate bite her tongue? Meanwhile, Medium is desperate for feedback on his lockdown novel about the bubonic plague, time travel and penguins… Be careful what you wish for!
Speaking about the episode Blake Harrison, who plays Medium said: "Medium is very much the straight man and conscience of Kate and Koji. So when he writes his novel, it is one of those rare moments where he's the butt of the joke. This time, he's the one desperate for approval and other people are talking behind his back. It was really fun to do!"
Kate and Koji season 2 - episode 3 - 'Memories.'
Kate is all aflutter tonight, as new customers flock to the cafe, thanks to the sighting of a rare bird in the area. But when the bird watchers declare they’ll no longer be popping in for breakfasts and packed lunches, she comes up with a cunning/birdbrained plan to keep them coming back! Meanwhile, Koji is shaken after being racially abused but doesn’t want to report it in case it affects his asylum appeal. Later, he’s shocked when Kate digs out her dad’s gun - but not as shocked as Medium when he finds out she’s been arrested!
Kate and Koji season 2 - episode 4 - 'Koji's Date.'
Kate has her grump on! First she discovers the cafe is ranking last in Seagate. Furious over a bad online review, she (temporarily) remedies the situation with some creative writing. Meanwhile, Koji’s got a hot date with Lisa (Holby City’s Chizzy Akudolu). He can’t afford to take her out, so Kate arranges a romantic evening meal at the cafe - and regrets it immediately when Lisa reveals she’s vegan. Kate’s also got her pinny in a twist over obnoxious customer Amanda (Outnumbered’s Claire Skinner), who gets a grilling when she crosses the line…
Kate and Koji season 2 - episode 5 - 'Saint Lavinia.'
Holy smoke! Councillor Lavinia Bone (Barbara Flynn) seems to have turned over a new leaf. After a near death experience Lavinia reveals she’s found god and wants to put an end to her 65 year feud with Kate. Doubting Kate, however, decides to test Lavinia’s new found faith by giving her hell! The arrival of their old school friend, Joyce (Mrs Brown's Boys star Susie Blake) reveals the root cause of their rivalry. By some miracle, could a reconciliation be on the menu? Meanwhile, concerned about Koji’s escalating stress levels, Medium (Blake Harrison) takes him sea fishing.
Kate and Koji season 2 - episode 6 - 'Vote for Kate.'
In the series finale, Kate launches an election campaign, as she feels it's her public duty to aggravate nemesis Councillor Bone. Koji and Medium don’t fancy her chances, but she has a surprising supporter in Mr Mulholland. Will her dreams of becoming the local police and crime commissioner be kneecapped when she gets herself into a pickle with Trevor (The Bill’s Martin Marquez), Seagate’s resident racketeer? Meanwhile, Medium mulls over how to break the news that he’s been offered a job in Peru. Something tells us Kate will not be waving him off with marmalade sandwiches…
Is there a trailer for Kate and Koji season 2?
Hot off the presses, here's the first trailer for the new season.
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With twenty years of experience as an entertainment journalist, Elaine writes for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and www.whattowatch.com covering a variety of programs from gardening and wildlife to documentaries and drama.
As well as active involvement in the WTW family’s social media accounts, she has been known to get chatty on the red carpet and wander into the odd podcast.
After a day of previewing TV, writing about TV and interviewing TV stars, Elaine likes nothing than to relax… by watching TV.