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Filming has begun on the return of the BBC’s hit drama World On Fire.

Telling the story of World War Two through the eyes of ordinary people whose lives have been thrown into chaos, the six new episodes are written by series creator Peter Bowker, Rachel Bennette and Matt Jones.

October 1940. Lone pilots are sent to destroy German bombers prowling the skies above Manchester as the Northern Blitz begins. The true reality of war has arrived in Britain.

World On Fire series two will take viewers from the streets of Britain into occupied France, Nazi Germany, and to the sands of the North African desert, where British troops struggle alongside Indian Sappers and Australian Diggers to adapt to a very different kind of combat.

Returning cast include Lesley Manville as Robina, Jonah Hauer-King as Harry, Julia Brown as Lois, and Zofia Wichlacz as Kasia, with Blake Harrison as Stan, Eugénie Derouand as Henriette, Eryk Biedunkiewicz as Jan, and Cel Spellman as Joe.

Joining the World On Fire cast for series two are Mark Bonnar (Guilt, Line of Duty) as Sir James Danemere, Ahad Raza Mir (Resident Evil, Hum Tum) as Rajib, and Gregg Sulkin (Runaways, Pretty Smart) as David. Further new and returning cast will be announced in due course.

Lesley Manville says: “It’s wonderful to be bringing Peter Bowler’s epic scripts to life again. Rich characters telling great, human stories set against the backdrop of World War Two. It’s a feast!”

World On Fire creator and writer Peter Bowker says: "The second season of World On Fire has been a long wait due to a certain pandemic and this makes the beginning of filming especially exciting...

"It has been a real joy to pick up the story with our inspirational cast, both our established regulars and new and exciting talent who have embraced the show’s scale and ambition...

"How the conflict played out in North Africa is a fascinating and little explored history and we are aiming to redress that balance with stories of struggle and friendship. Our diverse cast will continue to reflect the global nature of the conflict.”

Helen Ziegler, Director of Television at Mammoth Screen, says: “Peter Bowker gives us an extraordinary insight into the second year of World War Two with his unique humanity, humour and pathos...

"This is a drama which poses the question - how do you survive when everything around you has changed unimaginably? We are absolutely thrilled to be returning for this epic and adrenalized series two of World In Fire, with our wonderful returning cast joined by a host of new characters!”

Ben Irving, Acting Director of BBC Drama, says: “With a range of intriguing, untold stories that put ordinary people at the centre of history, and a first-rate ensemble of both new and returning characters, it’s a real pleasure to see filming on World On Fire series two now underway.”

Susanne Simpson, executive producer for MASTERPIECE, says: “World on Fire captivated our MASTERPIECE audience and we’re thrilled to bring them another season of this ambitious World War 2 drama. With Peter Bowker’s riveting scripts, a talented returning cast plus some intriguing new characters, season 2 will definitely be worth the wait.”

Commissioned by the BBC, World On Fire (6x60’) is a Mammoth Screen production co-produced with MASTERPIECE for the BBC. The second series will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in 2023.


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