Raunchy Netflix period drama Bridgerton to return for third and fourth series

Laura Harding, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

Raunchy period drama Bridgerton will return for a third and fourth series, it has been confirmed.

It has already been announced the Netflix show’s second series – which is set to begin filming in the UK in the spring – will follow the story of the eldest Bridgerton sibling, Anthony, played by Jonathan Bailey.

Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton (Liam Daniel/Netflix)
Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton (Liam Daniel/Netflix)

Sex Education star Simone Ashley will play the female lead in Anthony’s story arc, appearing as Kate.

A tweet from Netflix said: “BREAKING NEWS FROM THE TON. Bridgerton is returning for seasons three *AND* four!”

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The news follows the announcement Rege-Jean Page, the breakout star of the first series, will not be returning.

The British-Zimbabwean actor, 31, earned critical acclaim – and the status of heartthrob – for his portrayal of the dashing Duke of Hastings, starring opposite Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne Bridgerton, Anthony’s younger sister.

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Their romance formed the centrepiece of the first series.

Page said it had been a “pleasure and a privilege” to star in Bridgerton.

News of his departure was announced through a special edition of the mysterious narrator Lady Whistledown’s gossipy Society Paper, posted on Instagram.

Phoebe Dynevor and Rege-Jean Page in the first series (Liam Daniel/Netflix/PA)
Phoebe Dynevor and Rege-Jean Page in the first series (Liam Daniel/Netflix/PA)

It said: “While all eyes turn to Lord Anthony Bridgerton’s quest to find a Viscountess, we bid adieu to Rege-Jean Page, who so triumphantly played the Duke of Hastings. We’ll miss Simon’s presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family.

“Daphne will remain a devoted wife and sister, helping her brother navigate the upcoming social season and what it has to offer – more intrigue and romance than my readers may be able to bear. Yours Truly, Lady Whistledown.”

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Bridgerton is produced by Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland and has been described as Gossip Girl meets Downton Abbey.

Rhimes, the showrunner behind medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, tweeted: “Remember: the Duke is never gone. He’s just waiting to be binge watched all over again.”