Single Father - Character Biogs

Family Tree

Dave, played by David Tennant

Dave's a lovely bloke who adores Rita. He's a good dad to their three kids, an excellent step dad to Lucy and a great provider but, on the whole, he's happy to let Rita deal with the children and the home – which makes coping alone all the more difficult. Photographer Dave – in love with his dead partner, Rita – is loyal, loving, funny, confused, and embarking on a journey of discovery.

Sarah played by Suranne Jones

Rita's best friend, Sarah, is a teacher at the school where Rita works as a classroom assistant. Gorgeous, and always quick to smile, Sarah lives with partner Matt and seems happy. However, kids aren't on the agenda – yet. Devastated by Rita's death, Sarah is there for Dave as a friend whenever he needs help.

Rita played by Laura Fraser

Adopted by Beatty as a child, Rita had Lucy when she was still at college and met Dave two years later. Relationship-wise she gave Dave a run for his money – but he hung in there and, together, they've raised a family and made a good life together. Rita insists on strict rules for kids: no mobile phones, no computer games, no clothes with logos and no rubbish films, so her sudden death leaves a gaping hole in the family.

Tanya played by Sophie Kennedy Clark

Dave's 18-year-old daughter by his first marriage to Michelle, Tanya works with Dave in his photographic studio – which would be great except she's not that interested in the job. Single mother to three-year-old Samuel, Tanya hasn't grown up or taken on the full responsibility of motherhood yet. Constantly helped out by her mother and Rita, Dave only started being useful to Tanya a few years ago.

Anna played by Neve McIntosh

Dave's sister-in-law, Rita's adopted sister. Anna suffered when her mum adopted an older girl and never really recovered. Nosey, bossy, opinionated and unintentionally hilarious, Anna can't help but interfere in Dave and the children's lives after Rita's death. She means well but can be over-bearing – a fact her husband, Robin, knows all too well.

Matt played by Warren Brown

Sarah's long-term partner, Matt is younger than his girlfriend and not quite ready to settle down and have kids – which could prove problematic for the couple. But Matt's a good man and he does love Sarah. He notices when things start to change between them, only trouble is he just can't spot the cause.

Robin played by Mark Heap

Anna's husband and family solicitor, Robin seems like a hen-pecked husband – but appearances can be deceptive. On the surface, Robin and Dave seem worlds apart in personality and lifestyles but they're there for one another when needed.

Beatty played by Isla Blair

Rita's adopted mother, Beatty, is stranded by Rita's death and worried that further strains on the family may pull it apart.

Michelle played by Jenni Keenan Green

Dave's ex-wife, and mother to Tanya, tries to seize the opportunity to make herself part of Dave's life again when Rita dies. When that fails, there are glimpses of old tensions between Dave and Michelle not least because she's always fiercely protective of Tanya's position

Stuart played by Rupert Graves

Former college friend of Rita's, Stuart's past catches up with him following Rita's death and he is forced to face and disclose some powerful revelations.

The Kids

Lucy played by Natasha Watson

Rita's eldest daughter, Dave has brought 15-year-old Lucy up as his own. A complicated, interesting teenager – the death of her mother leaves her with a whole host of unanswered questions about her identity and she becomes determined to find her real father knowing that it hurts Dave.

Paul played by Chris Hegarty

Paul is the protector of his mother's values – a role that seems to enable him to deal with Rita's death. The 11-year-old also has an instinct to look after Dave – and quietly starts finding comfort in religion.

Ewan played by Robert Dickson

Very angry at the loss of his mum, nine-year-old Ewan wants more attention from his dad – and will do anything to get it. Not thinking of the consequences…

Evie played by Millie Innes

Five-year-old Evie seems to bounce back more easily than the others. She has a strong sense of herself and her place in the family – and can take everyone by surprise. But is she socially sophisticated or a complete innocent?

Thanks to the BBC Press Office