Sally Phillips joins IFC & Channel 4’s Year of the Rabbit

Sally Phillips, alongside Keeley Hawes and Jill Halfpenny have joined IFC and Channel 4’s comedy series Year of the Rabbit, starring Matt Berry.

Phillips will play Princess Juliana of Bulgaria, while Hawes the mysterious Lydia and Halfpenny Rabbit’s ex, Flora when the show goes into production on location in the UK.

Hawes said: “It’s great to be working with Matt, Susan and Freddie on such a brilliantly original show. Lydia is such an enigmatic character. It’s been a thoroughly enjoyable, bonkers experience.”

Phillips said, “I can report that there is literally nothing more pleasurable than playing a haughty, 19th Century, pansexual, Bulgarian autocrat with access to guns. I may have peaked.”

Halfpenny added: “I’m thrilled to be a part of Year of the Rabbit. It’s an amazing creative team and I’ve had the best time making it.”

The six-part series tells the story of a group of Victoria detectives. While investigating a local murder, the chief of police’s lewd but insightful adoptive daughter (Susan Wokoma), becomes the country’s first female officer. The three fight crime while rubbing shoulders with street gangs, crooked politicians, Bulgarian princes, spiritualists, music hall stars and the Elephant Man.

Also starring in the series are David Dawson (Last Kingdom), Ann Mitchell (Widows), Alistair Petrie (The Night Manager), Matthew Holness (Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace) and Craig Parkinson (Black Mirror: Bandersnatch).

The series is produced by All3Media-backed Objective Fiction after it was piloted by C4 in 2017. Year of the Rabbit is directed by Ben Taylor (Sex Education) and written by Andy Riley and Kevin Cecil (Veep), with additional material from Berry. Ben Farrell and Toby Stevens will executive produce for Objective Fiction and Objective Media Group Scotland, with Hannah Mackay producing.