Skip to main content

The Following Events Are Based On A Pack of Lies — cast, plot and everything we know

The Following Events Are Based On A Pack of Lies on BBC1 stars Rebecca Staton, Derek Jacobi and Marianne Jean-Baptiste,
The Following Events Are Based On A Pack of Lies on BBC1 stars Rebecca Staton, Derek Jacobi and Marianne Jean-Baptiste, (Image credit: Getty)

The Following Events Are Based On A Pack of Lies is coming to BBC1. The unconventional thriller focuses on two very different women, Alice Newman (Rebekah Staton) and Cheryl Harker (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) who have just one thing in common — being taken for a ride by conman Dr Rob Chance (Alistair Petrie). 

With Derek Jacobi also starring as Sir Ralph Unwin, who may or may not also be being scammed by Rob, the dark comedy promises to be a hilarious ride. 

Created by SISTER productions, here's everything you need to know about BBC1's five-part dark comedy thriller The Following Events Are Based On A Pack of Lies

Alistair Petrie at the start of filming of The Following Events Are Based On A Pack of Lies.

Alistair Petrie at the start of filming of The Following Events Are Based On A Pack of Lies. (Image credit: BBC)

The Following Events Are Based On A Pack of Lies release date

The Following Events Are Based On A Pack of Lies is a five-part comedy-drama will be screened on BBC1. There’s no release date yet but we’ll update this page as soon as we have more information. We’ll also let US and international viewers know how they can watch the show.  

The Following Events Are Based On A Pack of Lies plot 

The story of The Following Events Are Based On A Pack of Lies focuses on two women, Cheryl and Alice, who lead very different lives. Cheryl (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) is a best-selling fantasy fiction author who, after the death of her partner, lives alone with her poodle. Alice (Rebekah Staton) is a formidable PA, mum and Madonna obsessive. They are total strangers, but both find themselves tangled up in the life of Rob (Alistair Petrie) who claims to be a celebrated ecopreneur. This leads to an unexpected friendship between the women who are both determined to take down the predatory swindler. Can they carry out the ultimate con? 

The Following Events Are Based On A Pack of Lies cast — Marianne Jean-Baptiste as Cheryl

Marianne, who plays scammed Cheryl in the drama, is most famous for playing Hortense Cumberbatch in the 1996 movie Secrets and Lies alongside Brenda Blethyn who was Oscar nominated for her tole in that film. She’s since starred as Doreen Lawrence in the ITV film The Murder of Stephen Lawrence and played Sharon Bishop in ITV crime drama Broadchurch. Marianne has also starred in Training Day, Blindspot and How to Get Away with Murder

Marianne with Brenda Blethyn in 1996 movie Secrets and Lies.

Marianne with Brenda Blethyn in 1996 movie Secrets and Lies. (Image credit: Alamy)

Rebekah Staton as Alice

Raised By Wolves star Rebekah plays scammed Alice in this drama. She's also starred in drama series such as Home, Ordinary Lies, Wallander and Inside Men. She’s had roles in Great Night Out, Pulling, Moving On, Doctor Who and the 2006 miniseries Jane Eyre

Alistair Petrie as Dr Rob Chance

Alistair plays conman Dr Rob Chance in this drama, but will be instantly recognizable as headmaster Michael Groff in the Netflix comedy series Sex Education. He’s starring in this year’s Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? and has had roles in ITV2's recent wrestling comedy Deep Heat, The Terror, The Night Manager and Whitechapel. He’s also been in movies such as Rogue One, The Duchess, The Bank Job and Victor Frankenstein

Alistair Petrie as a wrestler in Deep Heat.

Alistair Petrie as a wrestler in Deep Heat. (Image credit: ITV2)

Derek Jacobi as Sir Ralph Unwin

Legendary film, TV and stage actor Derek Jacobi will play Sir Ralph Unwin, who may also be one of Rob’s victims. His impressive career includes movies such as The Day of the Jackal, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Odessa File, Gladiator, Gosford Park, End Game and The King’s Speech. He also starred in classical Roman drama I, Claudius, Doctor Who and Last Tango in Halifax while he played the Duke of Windsor in the third season of The Crown

Derek Jacobi and Ann Reid as Alan and Celia in Last Tango In Halfax.

Derek Jacobi and Ann Reid as Alan and Celia in Last Tango In Halfax. (Image credit: BBC)

Who else is starring in The Following Events Are Based On A Pack of Lies? 

There are plenty of other great actors in The Following Events Are Based On A Pack of Lies, including Romola Garai (The Hour) who plays Juno Fish, Alice’s boss and a prominent designer. Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh) is Alice’s husband Benjy, while Karl Johnson (Lark Rise to Candleford) is Alice’s father Bill. Ellie Haddington (Enola Holmes, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) is Alice’s insufferable mother Diane.

Behind the scenes on The Following Events Are Based On A Pack of Lies

The Following Events Are Based On A Pack of Lies creators Penelope and Ginny Skinner said:“ We couldn’t be more delighted that, thanks to Sister’s expert support and encouragement, this project has attracted such a talented group of collaborators to bring it to fruition. With Robbie McKillop and Nicole Charles’ insightful and creative direction along with an absolute dream cast, including stars like Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Rebekah Staton and Alistair Petrie, we are hugely proud that this show has found a home at the BBC. ”

Directors for the series are Robbie McKillop (Guilt, Clique) and Nicole Charles (Hair Power: Me and My Afro) who will be directing three and two episodes respectively. The SISTER team added, “We are so excited that this extraordinary cast has joined us to bring these scripts to life under the helm of such creative, collaborative directors as Robbie and Nicole. We feel incredibly lucky to be working with such a unique and talented team, and it's testament to Penny and Ginny's writing that we are!”

Jo McClellan, Commissioning Editor, BBC Drama, said, “The BBC are thrilled to begin production on The Following Events are Based on a Pack of Lies with this fantastic cast and the brilliant Sister production team. Penny and Ginny have written an incredibly fun show which highlights how susceptible we all are to the modern fraudster, how they are everywhere and hiding in plain sight.”

Is there a trailer for The Following Events Are Based On A Pack of Lies? 

No trailer has been released yet but we’ll post it on here as soon as one drops. 

Nicholas Cannon
Nicholas Cannon

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.