Second series for Defending The Guilty | Katherine Parkinson and Will Sharpe to return in legal comedy © BBC/Big Talk Productions

Second series for Defending The Guilty

Katherine Parkinson and Will Sharpe to return in legal comedy

BBC Two has ordered a second series of its legal comedy Defending The Guilty, starring Katherine Parkinson and Will Sharpe.

The news comes as the first run of six episodes ended its run last night.

Based on the book of the same name by Alex McBride, the series follows Sharpe’s character Will Packham - an idealistic pupil barrister being shown the ropes by the cynical, worldly-wise Caroline, played by Parkinson.

Writer Kieron Quirke, who previously worked on Cuckoo, said: ‘I’m overjoyed to be diving back into the world of 60 Bedford Row Chambers, peopled by one of the best ensemble casts on TV. 

‘Having superlative actors and the backing of the classiest production team in TV comedy really does make script-writing a tolerable thing.’

The first episode of the series, which aired in September, attracted 1.5million viewers, when all views in the first four weeks after broadcast are counted.

It got cautiously positive reviews, with the Guardian saying it ‘embraces the silliness of a serious world’ in its three-star review and Chortle saying it looked like a hit. The Telegraph added: ‘The earnestness is waylaid by rat-tat-tat banter in which the zinger-per-second count trumps punchline quality. ‘

Six more half-hour episodes have been commissioned from programme-makers Big Talk

Executive producer Saurabh Kakkar said: ‘We’ve been overwhelmed by the response to the series and are thrilled that the BBC is allowing us to spend more time with our talented gang as Kieron expertly ties their moral fibre in knots.’

The cast also includes Mark Bonnar, Gwyneth Keyworth, Prasanna Puwanarajah, Hanako Footman and Hugh Coles.

Production credits

Made by: Big Talk
Written by: Kieron Quirke
Created by: Kieron Quirke and Alex McBride
Commissioned by: Shane Allen, Controller, Comedy Commissioning and Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two
Commissioning editor: Kate Daughton 
Executive producers: Kenton Allen, Saurabh Kakkar, and Kieron Quirke for Big Talk, and Kate Daughton for the BBC
 Co-executive producer: Jim Field Smith

Published: 23 Oct 2019

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