Roadkill: Helen McCrory

Roadkill: take a look at the BBC’s next big timely political drama

Posted by for TV

 Line of Duty director, Michael Keillor, helms the BBC’s new political thriller, Roadkill. Here’s everything we know about the four-part series that everyone will be talking about.

Politics is a messy world of power struggles, scandals and, let’s face it, narcissistic characters. The pandemic has only proved these tropes to be true. That’s why the BBC’s new political drama, Roadkill, has come at an interesting time for audiences.

Directed by Line of Duty’s  Michael Keillor, the story follows a controversial Conservative minister whose political ambitions are challenged when a series of personal revelations are dug up by his enemies. Interest piqued? Let’s find out more…

 What is Roadkill about?

Peter Laurence is a “naturally gifted” Conservative minister with “a mix of charm, intelligence, charisma and high humour”. He is also very self-interested. When he is hit by a series of public revelations about his private life and his work as a minister, Peter is untroubled by guilt as he attempts to out-run his enemies and his past, with his eyes on the ultimate political prize.

Set in a fictional world, writer David Hare insists none of the characters in Roadkill are based on real people. “Mine is a parallel world to the real one, and there is no secret passage between the two,” he said in a press statement. “You will be wasting your time if you think that the purpose of the series is to work out who everyone is ‘meant to be’. In Roadkill, neither Covid nor Brexit consume every politician’s waking hour.”

Pippa Bennett-Warner plays Rochelle Madeley.
Roadkill: Pippa Bennett-Warner plays Rochelle Madeley.

Who stars in Roadkill?

It’s a bumper cast.

Hugh Laurie takes on the role of Peter, Helen McCrory plays prime minister Dawn Ellison, Pippa Bennett-Warner stars as high flying barrister Rochelle Madeley, Iain De Caestecker is political adviser Duncan Knock and Olivia Vinall is private secretary to the prime minister, Dawn Ellison.


Roadkill: Hugh Laurie plays Peter Laurence.
Roadkill: Hugh Laurie plays Peter Laurence.

Describing his character, Laurie says: “The story is in some regards about the price he is prepared to pay to get to the top position and the price that he forces everyone else to pay, principally his family but also those who pledge their loyalty to him. He is a man who is relatively free of the gravity of guilt and whose life mission is to keep moving forward and not to look back. 

He adds: “It sounds as if the story is entirely about me – it isn’t – there are three or four different stories interlocking in different places with different hopes or dreams being realised or dashed.”

Helen McCrory plays prime minister Dawn Ellison.
Roadkill: Helen McCrory plays prime minister Dawn Ellison.

Talking about the political world she plays the prime minister in, McCrory says: “It’s Europe in economic free fall with the same problems that have been facing Britain for the last 10, 20, 30 years; what we do about prisons, what do we do about the NHS. The same problems every government faces really, so it’s recognisable in that way.

“These aren’t real people and this is not a revelatory piece about something that David Hare discovered, this is a discussion in his mind about how to go about and what politicians are really like.”

Watch the trailer for Roadkill

When is Roadkill out?

We don’t have an exact release date, but the BBC says all four episodes of Roadkill will be coming soon to BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

Sign up for the latest news and must-read features from Stylist, so you don't miss out on the conversation.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Images: BBC

Share this article

Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…