Simone Ashley of ‘Sex Education’ to join Jonathan Bailey in ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2

Headshots of Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley.
Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley will star in Season 2 of Netflix’s hit “Bridgerton.”
(Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images, left; Netflix, right)

If there’s one thing we learned while binge-watching Netflix’s “Bridgerton,” it’s that people living in Regency England could benefit from sex education. Luckily, “Sex Education” actress Simone Ashley has been been tapped to star in the show’s upcoming sophomore season.

Netflix confirmed Tuesday that Ashley, who plays Olivia in the quirky teen comedy, will star in “Bridgerton” alongside Season 1 breakout Jonathan Bailey, a.k.a. Anthony Bridgerton. The highly anticipated second season of Shonda Rhimes’ hit period drama will begin production in London this spring.

Based on bestselling author Julia Quinn’s “The Viscount Who Loved Me” — the second book in the “Bridgerton” saga — the next season of Netflix’s adaptation will follow Bailey’s reformed rake of a bachelor (and his signature sideburns) on his quest for marriage. Ashley will portray Anthony Bridgerton’s love interest, Kate Sharma, billed by Netflix as a “a smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools.”


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In addition to “Sex Education,” British actress Ashley has appeared in ITV’s “The Sister” and BBC’s “Casualty,” among other projects. Bailey’s past credits include Amazon’s “Jack Ryan” series, BBC’s “W1A” and HBO’s “Crashing.”

Created by Chris Van Dusen, the popular first season of “Bridgerton” starred Bailey’s onscreen sister, Phoebe Dynevor, as belle of the ball Daphne Bridgerton. After joining forces for an elaborate ruse, Daphne can’t help but fall in love with Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, played by breakout heartthrob and newly minted Screen Actors Guild Award nominee Regé-Jean Page.

Rounding out the series’ titular family are Lady Violet (Ruth Gemmell), Eloise (Claudia Jessie), Colin (Luke Newton), Benedict (Luke Thompson), Gregory (Will Tilston) and Hyacinth Bridgerton (Florence Hunt). Other actors featured in the program’s freshman season are Nicola Coughlan, Ruby Barker, Adjoa Andoh, Golda Rosheuvel and Julie Andrews as the voice of gossip columnist Lady Whistledown.

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