Advertisement

Playing Nice: cast, plot and everything we know

 Playing Nice is an ITV1 thriller starring and executive produced by James Norton.
Playing Nice is an ITV1 thriller starring and executive produced by James Norton.

Playing Nice is a tense ITV thriller set in Cornwall where two couples discovers their toddlers were somehow switched at birth, all down to a hospital mix up. Playing the distraught and confused parents are James Norton, Niamh Algar, James McArdle and Jessica Brown Findlay.

The series is based on the bestselling novel Playing Nice by JP Delaney and is adapted by Malpractice writer Grace Ofori-Attah for Studiocanal and Rabbit Track Pictures, a production company co-founded by James Norton and Katie Hewitt.

James Norton, who also serves as an executive producer, says: “Playing Nice was the first book we optioned after launching Rabbit Track and we feel immensely proud of the project it has become. To be working with ITV, Studiocanal, wonderful Grace Ofori-Attah, visionary Kate Hewitt, our unbelievable cast and the whole rest of the production team is a huge privilege. We’re thrilled and very excited.”

So here's everything you need to know about Playing Nice on ITV1 and ITVX...

Playing Nice release date

There's no release date announced yet for Playing Nice but we believe it will arrive on ITV1 and ITVX later in 2024. Keep an eye on this page and we'll update as soon as we hear. Canal+ will distribute the drama internationally, and we will update with an international and US air date as soon as we can.

Playing Nice plot

Playing Nice takes place in a remote part of Cornwall, south west England, as two couples discover their beloved toddlers had been switched at birth in a terrible hospital mix-up. Both face a horrifying dilemma — do they keep the sons they have raised and coem come to love dearly, or reclaim their biological child?

The horrifying situation is an absolute nightmare for Pete (James Norton) and Maddie (Niamh Algar) as they are pulled into the world of the other couple — Miles (James McArdle) and Lucy (Jessica Brown Findlay). At first it seems all four are seemingly agreed on the best solution, but it soon becomes clear that hidden motives are at play. How far can each couple trust the real parents of their child – or even each other? As Pete and Maddie reach breaking point, they stop at nothing to keep their family together.

Playing Nice cast

The four main stars of Playing Nice are James Norton, Niamh Algar, James McArdle and Jessica Brown Findlay. Here's the lowdown on each.

James Norton plays Pete
Playing father Pete, James is known for his role as killer Tommy Lee Royce in Happy Valley and as the vicar Sidney Chambers, alongside Robson Green, when Grantchester began. His other roles include playing Prince Andrei Bolkonsky in BBC1's epic period drama adaptation War & Peace and as Alex Godman — the son of a mobster in BBC1 thriller McMafia.

Niamh Algar plays Maddie
Playing Pete's other half and anguieshd mu Maddie is Niamh Algar. She's previoslu starred in dramas such as Malpractice and Deceit.

james Norton as Tommy Lee Royce sitting on a bed drinking beer in Happy Valley season 3
james Norton as Tommy Lee Royce sitting on a bed drinking beer in Happy Valley season 3
Dr Lucinda Edwards (Niamh Algar) in bloody gloves and scrubs in Malpractice
Dr Lucinda Edwards (Niamh Algar) in bloody gloves and scrubs in Malpractice

Jessica Brown Findlay plays Lucy
Jessica is playing the other mum Lucy who is caught up in the baby swap nightmare. Jessica is of course most famous as Lady Sybil in the early series of Downton Abbey. She's also starred in Munich: The Edge of War, Jamaica Inn, Misfits, The Outcast, The Flatshare and Brave New World.

James McArdle plays Miles
The other father in the drama is Miles played by James McArdle. He's previously played Deacon Mark Burton in Mare of Easttown, alongside Kate Winslet, and is Niv Lek in Star Wars: Episode VII – the Force Awakens. He’s also starred in movies such as Mary Queen of Scots, ’71, Ammonite and Private Peaceful as well as the TV series Appropriate Adult, Love & Marriage and Life After Life. He's starring in 2024 series Sexy Beast.

Jessica Brown Findlay and Anthony Welsh in The Flatshare.
Jessica Brown Findlay and Anthony Welsh in The Flatshare.
James McArdle is playing Gal Dove in Sexy Beast.
James McArdle is playing Gal Dove in Sexy Beast.

Who else is starring Playing Nice?

The remaining cast for Playing Nice has yet to be announced but we'll update as soon as we hear more.

Is there a trailer for Playing Nice?

As Playing Nice has only started filming there's no trailer yet available. We'll be adding as soon as one is ready!

Behind the scenes, locations and more on Playing Nice

Playing Nice is being filmed in Cornwall, south west England, in early 2024. Writer Grace Ofori-Attah, who has adapted the novel for this thriller, says: “It has been an absolute privilege to adapt JP Delaney’s gripping novel for the screen. I am thrilled to be working with Rabbit Track and Studiocanal, as well as our incredible cast and production team. I’m also excited to be partnering with ITV again on my second drama series, and can’t wait for Playing Nice to hit TV screens.”

Studiocanal’s Joe Naftalin and Isobel Carter say: “We are hugely excited to be launching this production. We are delighted to be working with our wonderful cast and crew, working from a brilliant script by Grace Ofori-Attah, and with powerful direction from Kate Hewitt. We are grateful to our partners at ITV, CANAL+, Rabbit Track - and to JP Delaney for allowing us the opportunity to adapt his gripping novel. We can’t wait to share this captivating series with audiences around the world next year.”

ITV Drama Commissioner Helen Perry says: “Playing Nice is an enthralling thriller with a knotty moral dilemma at its heart. Not only will viewers be hooked, they'll be left questioning 'what would I do...?' As Grace Ofori-Attah's superb script raises questions about the nature of parenting and how far we'll go for those we love.”