Last Tango in Halifax was last on TV back in 2020, just as the pandemic took hold in the UK.
Fans of the BBC family drama by Sally Wainwright still hold out for a sixth series one day.
But with no indication that new episodes might happen, we all have to entertain ourselves with the five series still available on BBC iPlayer.
However, there may be some comfort to be taken from the fact there were four years between the Christmas specials of 2016 and the fifth series.
Last Tango in Halifax has been hailed as a “triumph against TV’s ageism” thanks to excellent leads Anne Reid and Sir Derek Jacobi.
Nonetheless, return it did. And if and until it does return again, here’s what has been keeping Last Tango In Halifax’s regular cast members busy in the meantime.
Last Tango In Halifax cast: Anne Reid plays Celia Dawson
At 86, Anne isn’t showing many signs of slowing down her superlative acting career.
Years and Years by Russell T Davies was another critical TV hit for her in 2019. She play grandmother Muriel in an all-star ensemble cast showing the UK slide into totalitarianism.
That same year she appeared in multiple episodes of Hold The Sunset and Sanditon.
And even the pandemic didn’t prevent her from working. Since 2020 she’s had roles in Jude Law’s The Nest, action thriller SAS: Red Notice and the forthcoming The Trouble with Jessica.
Derek Jacobi plays Alan Buttershaw
Likewise, stage and cinematic legend Sir Derek seems to have no regard for any thoughts of retirement.
Some of his film credits since 2020 include The Host, Come Away and Say Your Prayers,
He has also recorded scenes for movies The Martini Shot, A Bird Flew In, Allelujah and Lead Heads, which are yet to be released.
In terms of TV, Sir Derek made his second appearance in Inside No 9, this time playing a dying barrister who struck a Faustian deal.
And he’s also had a memorable showing in Amazon Prime’s Good Omens as Metatron alongside Michael Sheen. Sir Derek will return for the second series, too.
His distinctive tones have also graced Netflix docudrama The Lost Pirate Kingdom, for which he was the narrator. And he’s also narrated six-part series Royals: Keeping the Crown.
Sarah Lancashire plays Caroline, Celia’s daughter
Happy Valley fans were delighted in October 2021 when the BBC confirmed a third series of the gritty crime drama.
Also by Last Tango In Halifax creator Sally, six more episodes are expected to air in 2022.
She teased at the time of the announcement: “It’s time to let the dog see the rabbit.”
As if that wasn’t huge enough for fans of her work, Sarah has also been busy with what is expected to be her big break with US audiences.
She’s playing TV chef Julia Child for HBO Max series Julia, which begins airing at the end of this month.
Last Tango In Halifax cast: Nicola Walker plays Gillian, Alan’s daughter
The ITV drama will continue without her. But she’s hardly wanting for opportunities to keep her busy.
She’s also got Marriage with Sean Bean on the way, tipped to be one of the BBC’s standout dramas this year.
And also within the last year she’s starred as another police officer, DI Annika Strandhed, in Alibi’s Annika.
Tony Gardner plays John
Tony was a familiar face on TV before Last Tango in Halifax thanks to a number of memorable performances.
Among them have been roles in My Parents Are Aliens, The Thick of It and Fresh Meat.
But playing Caroline’s angry ex-husband has brought him a new level of plaudits, demonstrating why he is a favourite of casting directors.
And he is another actor who has linked up with Sally Wainwright on her other projects – he plays Mr Sunderland in the second series of Gentleman Jack.
Josh Bolt plays Gillian’s son Raff
In keeping with his co-stars, Josh has had a busy few years.
While his role as Rob Dawson came to an end when Benidorm ceased, he turned up on the silver screen in 2019 in A Good Woman is Hard to Find.
That same year he also starred in Hulu miniseries Catch-22 as Dunbar. 2020 saw him play Michael Barton in Jimmy McGovern’s BAFTA-winning Anthony.
And he is currently filming his role as Lt. Winifred ‘Pappy’ Lewis in Masters of the Air, an Apple TV+ war drama whose executive producers include Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg.
Last Tango in Halifax cast: Katherine Rose Morley plays Ellie, Raff’s girlfriend
The character of Ellie, played by Katherine Rose Morley, joined Last Tango in Halifax in the second series in 2013.
She’s also had prominent roles in BBC Three’s Thirteen and 5Star’s The Clink.
Louis Greatorex plays Caroline’s son Lawrence
Louis made his TV debut just two years before the first series of Last Tango in Halifax. That came playing Little Dick in The Legend of Dick and Dom.
Louis also has a part in the upcoming Masters of the Air, playing Capt. Joseph Payne.
Dean Andrews as Robbie
Before Last Tango in Halifax, Dean was probably best known for playing Ray Carling in Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes.
He wasn’t involved in series 5 as – this isn’t a spoiler, it aired six years ago – his character Robbie left West Yorkshire for Canada after he found out his partner Gillian killed her ex, his brother Eddie.
Since Robbie’s departure, Dean has appeared in Karen Matthews drama The Moorside, Delicious and London Kills.
But his most prominent role has been in Emmerdale, where he has played Will Taylor since 2019.
Nina Sosanya as Caroline’s partner Kate
Unfortunately, there is no chance of a return for the character of Kate, played by Nina Sosanya.
That’s because she was killed off in the third series.
Last Tango in Halifax cast: Ronni Ancona plays Judith
John picks up with Judith after his marriage to Caroline collapses – but their relationship is far from plain sailing.
Ronni, meanwhile, will always be associated with her various appearances as an impressionist, particularly alongside Alistair McGowan.
Since the fifth series of Last Tango in Halifax, some her most noteworthy TV appearances have come in celebrity game shows.
She took part in the Christmas 2020 special of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and won Pointless Celebrities in January 2021 with Jan Ravens.
Ronni was also a contestant on House of Games in early 2021.
Timothy West plays Ted
Another illustrious bit of casting – and in a relatively small role – has seen Timothy turn up as Alan’s brother Ted.
He first appeared in Last Tango in Halifax in 2013. But returned for the fifth series for more episodes as Ted decided he wanted to move back to the UK from Australia.
The same period also saw him bring his acting mastery to Inside No 9 and Toast of London.
And since 2019 he has also played Jeremy Lister in Gentleman Jack. He will reprise the role when it returns for a second series in April 2022.
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