Heartstopper’s Bradley Riches lands next big role in season two of horror series Wreck

Bradley Riches as James McEwan in Heartstopper season 2

Bradley Riches, who appeared as gay student James McEwan in Heartstopper season two, has just announced his new role in BBC series Wreck.

Riches posted on Instagram that his next project would be Wreck season two, writing: “Meet Freddie. Had so much filming with these amazing people! Coming this year.”

The announcement was accompanied by a screenshot from X/Twitter, featuring a January 2023 post by screenwriter and creator of Wreck, Ryan J Brown, writing that he was looking for LGBTQ+ actors for series two of the BBC’s campy queer comedy horror, which debuted in 2022.

Wreck stars Breeders actor Oscar Kennedy as Jamie, who joins the crew of a cruise ship to investigate the disappearance of his sister, all while trying to avoid a bloodthirsty murderer dressed in a duck suit. Yes, really.

The show is considered to have excellent queer representation, as both Jamie and his cruise ship colleague Vivian (Thaddea Graham) are gay, while trans actress Miya Ocego plays Rosie, the girlfriend of Jamie’s friend Comac. She’s also a Cher impersonator, proving that Wreck can’t get much camper.

Gay Bridgerton actor James Phoon also stars as Hamish Campbell.

You may like to watch

In season two, it looks like the Wreck crew will be coming ashore and heading to “an exclusive wellness festival for millionaires”, which is run by the same company that owns the perilous cruise ship.

Brad Riches previously announced his casting for Netflix’s Heartstopper in much the same way, sharing a photo of himself on Instagram with the caption: “So proud to announce that I will be playing ‘James McEwan’ in Netflix’ Heartstopper S2. Can’t wait for everyone to meet him.”

Fans of the Alice Oseman novels will remember James as the character who has a crush on Charlie and is dared to kiss him during a birthday party.

However, his character was expanded for the TV series, which Riches was excited about.

He previously told Metro: “It’s really exciting to be part of the Heartstopper universe. James in the comics is only in one scene, so it’s nice to expand the character in ways that I can’t yet say, but whenever I have a character, I always like to bring part of myself to it, as well as escaping my own self.”

“I like to find similarities between the character and myself, and that’s what made James.”

James became a key part of the Heartstopper gang after developing a crush on asexual bookworm Isaac (Tobie Donovan) and the show has made Riches one to watch.

Riches is autistic and recently released a children’s book about autism called ‘A’ Different Kind of Superpower.

“I hope ‘A’ Different Kind of Superpower makes neurodivergent people feel seen and heard across the board. Even in 2023 we’re still short on positive representations of autism, in particular, so it felt amazing to get this greenlit,” Riches told British Vogue in November.

“Being different is cool. You don’t need to fit in; the world isn’t designed for everyone to be the same. Even within the autistic community, my journey is worlds away from one of my neurodivergent friend’s journeys, for example. Nothing should hold you back from being yourself,” he added.

Wreck season two is expected to air on BBC Three and iPlayer in 2024.

Please login or register to comment on this story.