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Bridgerton season 2 casts Sex Education star as female lead

Simone Ashley in Sex Education
(Image credit: Netflix)

Bridgerton season 2 has its female lead – Simone Ashley, best known for her role in Netflix's Sex Education, will play the main female role in the next installment of the period romp.

Ashley will play Kate Sharma, the love interest of Anthony Bridgerton (played by Jonathan Bailey). Kate is a new arrival in London – smart and headstrong, she doesn't suffer fools (Anthony Birdgerton included). 

Season 2 will be based on the second book in Julia Quinn's series of novels, The Viscount Who Loved Me. Each of Quinn's books focuses on a different couple, and the TV show seems to be following suit. 

Set in Regency-era London during the ‘social season’, when debutantes were presented at court, season 1 followed the relationship between Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page). However, series creator Chris Van Dusen recently told The Hollywood Reporter that he "would love to be able to see" Dynevor and Page again as the series moves forward, even if they're not the main drivers of the story.

Bridgerton is the biggest Netflix original series of all time, toppling the likes of The Witcher and Stranger Things. Season 2 was announced less than a month after season 1 landed on the streamer and production is due to start in spring 2021. 

Netflix regular Ashley currently has a recurring role in comedy-drama Sex Education alongside Asa Butterfield and Gillian Anderson. She plays Olivia, one of the school's popular mean girls (although we saw a softer side to her in season 2). Production on Sex Education season 3 is currently underway and should be on our screens soon – hopefully. 

While we wait for Bridgerton season 2 to hit the streamer, check out our list of the best Netflix shows that you can watch right now. 

I’m an Entertainment Writer at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections – I help bring you all the latest news and the occasional feature, too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.