Bridgerton Season 2: Sex Education's Simone Ashley Lands Female Lead

Bridgerton Season 2 Kate Cast

Bridgerton Season 2 is starting to take shape, with the casting of a major new character.

Simone Ashley, who on Netflix’s Sex Education played “Untouchables” member Olivia, will fill the role of Kate Sharma (Sheffield, in the novels), a love interest for Jonathan Bailey’s highly eligible Anthony Bridgerton, TVLine has confirmed. Kate is described as a smart, headstrong London newcomer “who suffers no fools — Anthony very much included.”

“We’re really going to be [focusing on] the eldest Bridgerton brother next season, Lord Anthony Bridgerton,” showrunner Chris Van Dusen revealed last month on the Today show. “We left him at the end of the first season at a bit of a crossroads, so I’m looking forward to jumping in and discovering how he fares on the marriage market.”

Kate is among “a bunch of new characters” Van Dusen said to expect during the hit series’ sophomore run, which is based on author Julia Quinn’s second Bridgerton novel, The Viscount Who Loved Me.

Ashley’s previous TV credits also include the ITV miniseries The Sister and the UK version of Broadchurch. Her casting was first reported by our sister site Deadline.

Bridgerton was renewed in late January, barely four weeks after Season 1 debuted on Netflix to what would be boffo numbers.