Annabel’s new role in BBC drama The Split

Annabel Scholey. (Photo by Joseph Sinclair, makeup by Sam Cooper, hair by Polly Miteva.)
Annabel Scholey. (Photo by Joseph Sinclair, makeup by Sam Cooper, hair by Polly Miteva.)

Homegrown actor Annabel Scholey will take on the role of a party animal divorce lawyer in a six-part drama, coming to our television screens next week.

The Split explores love, modern marriage and the legacy of divorce through the eyes of the Defoes, a family of female lawyers in London. Nina Defoe, played by 34-year-old Ms Scholey, is the middle of three sisters. She likes a drink and is often late, but is the mediator of the family.

Ms Scholey, from Horbury, said: “The Defoe women seem like they have got everything they want but actually all of them are struggling to figure things out. The show is about love between siblings and parents. There’s a mix and match between the fast-paced divorce law world in London and the home life.

“Nina is the middle sister and enjoys hiding under her sisters’ shadows. She’s the party one. I’m really looking forward to it coming out.”

The series, produced by Sister Pictures for BBC One, has a female-led cast and crew, including writer Abi Morgan.

Ms Scholey said: “There’s a very different atmosphere when it’s all women. I don’t think it should be the case with every project of course but I felt like it was really special and Abi has written such brilliant characters with flaws and layers.”

The role is a change of pace for former Horbury school pupil Ms Scholey, who has starred in Sky Atlantic Roman drama Britannia, and Netflix original series Medici: Masters of Florence, set six centuries ago.

She said: This is the first time in ages that I’ve been in modern dress, which was really refreshing. I look like me for once. I’ve done a lot of period drama but this is really quick and modern. It’s a very funny script.”

Ms Scholey has come a long way since her stage debut at the age of 10, when she played a singing chicken in a production of Jack and the Beanstalk in Wakefield. Since training at the Oxford School of Drama, she has had TV roles in Jane Eyre and Being Human among others, starred in musical film Walking on Sunshine and has worked extensively in theatre.

She said: “I have had to work hard and I think growing up in Wakefield set me up quite well for that.

“I think Yorkshire people are quite grounded and realistic, which is useful in this business it’s quite tricky.”