Help on C4 is one of the most moving films about the Covid pandemic we’ve watched so far – and it has one of the most impressive casts, too.
Yes, it’s dark and devastatingly sad at times, but it’s also full of joy as it focuses on the relationship between carer Sarah and her patients.
Stephen Graham stars as Alzheimer’s sufferer Tony alongside a cast of some of UK’s finest.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Help cast on C4 – Stephen Graham is Tony
Stephen Graham, 48, stars as Tony.
Tony is by far the youngest resident in the Liverpool care home as a result of his early on-set Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
The character of Tony is only 47 and his condition causes periods of confusion and violent outbursts.
There are heartbreaking scenes when he remembers his beloved mother is dead.
TV viewers will recognise Stephen Graham from The North Water, Line of Duty, Time, The Virtues and This is England.
Help cast on C4 – Jodie Comer plays Sarah
Jodie Comer, 28, portrays Sarah, a new care worker who has her work cut out for her.
Her already difficult job of caring for the patients is made hellishly worse by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sarah is pushed to breaking point as the care home appears to be abandoned and residents begin to lose their lives.
You will cry.
Jodie is best known for her roles in Killing Eve, Doctor Foster and My Fat Mad Diary.
Cathy Tyson plays Polly
Cathy Tyson stars as care home resident Polly.
Once an English teacher, she moves into the care home when her family can longer look after her.
She helps entertain her fellow residents and friends by reciting passages from literature.
Cathy, 56, is probably best known for her role in the 1986 film Mona Lisa, which also earned her Best Supporting Actress nominations at the Golden Globes and BAFTA Awards.
She has also starred in Priest, Band of Gold and, more recently, Whitstable Pearl and McDonald & Dodds.
Angela Griffin portrays Tori
Former soap star Angela Griffin, 45, stars in her grittiest role to date as Tori.
Tori is a worker in the care home, and isn’t afraid to speak her mind when things go pear shaped.
She is Sarah’s support after she endures a devastating shift that leaves her broken.
Coronation Street fans will of course know Angela as Fiona Middleton.
Angela has also appeared in Cutting It, Waterloo Road, Lewis, Ordinary Lies and Mount Pleasant.
Most recently, she has appeared as Anna in Ibiza-based drama White Lines, and Susie Daniels in Dun Breedin’.
Help cast C4: Sue Johnston plays Gloria
Sue Johnston OBE portrays the immensely likeable Gloria – could Sue even play a character that isn’t likeable?
Gloria is a long-standing resident in the Liverpool care home, who is sadly hit full-on by the pandemic.
Sue, 77, is adored for her role as Barbara Royle in The Royle Family.
She is also best known for Waking the Dead, Brookside and Coronation Street.
The veteran actress portrayed Miss Denker in Downton Abbey.
Help cast C4: Lesley Sharp as Gaynor
Lesley Sharp, 61, plays Gaynor in C4’s Help.
Gaynor is the concerned mum of Jodie Comer’s character Sarah.
Gaynor can see that Sarah’s job is taking its toll, and encourages her to leave the care home.
Lesley recently starred as Hannah Laing in Before We Die, but is probably best known for playing DC Janet Scott in Scott & Bailey opposite Suranne Jones.
She has also appeared in Clocking Off, Playing the Field and The Shadow Line.
Ian Hart as Steve
Ian Hart, 56, plays care home boss Steve.
Steve has the difficult job of managing the care home – but lets his staff down when they need him.
His most notable roles are probably Professor Quirrell in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Father Beocca in The Last Kingdom and Michael Ryan in Tin Star.
He also played Kester Gill in the E4 series My Mad Fat Diary – which also starred Jodie Comer – and Thomas Blanky in The Terror.
Help cast C4
As well as the aforementioned cast of absolute gold, there are many other cast members viewers will recognise.
Scottish actor David Hayman, of Taboo and Trial and Retribution fame, stars as Hercules.
Meanwhile, Full Monty star Steve Garti portrays Tony’s best friend Kenny.
Andrew Schofield stars as Sarah’s dad Bob, Ellis Howard plays Robbie, Arthur Hughes plays Tim and Mike Noble plays Graham.
Alicya Eyo, Flo Wilson, Jackie Knowles, Ian Ralph and Ozzie Yue also star.
What is Help about?
Help is an emotional drama set in a fictional care home in Liverpool.
It tells the moving story of young care home worker Sarah who finds her calling working with the residents.
However, she is challenged to breaking point during the coronavirus pandemic in the spring of 2020.
She must protect those in her care – including Alzheimer’s patient Tony who she bonds with straight away.
It’s life affirming, but also casts a critical eye on the lack of information – and resources – care homes were given at the beginning of the pandemic.
It delivers with a killer punch.
Watch Help on Thursday September 16 2021 at 9pm on Channel 4.
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