Innocent season 2: Release date, cast and filming locations for ITV drama starring Katherine Kelly

Innocent is back for another series – and there’s a completely different tale of wrongful imprisonment to get your teeth in to. Here's everything you need to know about the ITV drama.

By Becky Gamester-Newton Published: 10 May 2021 - 10.22am
ITV Katherine Kelly stars in Innocent

The first series of Innocent, starring Hermione Norris and Lee Ingleby, was a huge success.

The story – about a man who is released from a prison sentence for the murder of his wife, but maintains his innocence – kept us guessing with its compelling and emotional story.

Innocent season 2 uses a similar premise, with teacher Sally Wright released after five years in prison for a crime she didn’t commit.

We explain everything you need to know about the new series.

What’s Innocent season 2 about?

The second series of Innocent focuses on the scandal of schoolteacher Sally Wright, who was convicted of murdering pupil Matty Taylor – with whom she was also accused of having an affair.

It is set in the small Lake District town of Keswick, and it is there that Sally returns following her release from prison – only to find that she’s lost everything.

How many episodes are there?

There are four episodes of Innocent season 2.

Who’s in the cast?

Sally Wright – Katherine Kelly


Katherine Kelly stars in the lead role as Sally, who tries to get her life back after wrongly being convicted of murder. But despite her freedom, the locals haven’t forgotten her story and she is shunned.

"She wants her life back. She wants to be back in the town that she was and integrated back into society," explains Katherine.

"I think of people that I know and how they put one foot in front of another after a deep trauma and things that you think, how would you ever get out of bed again?

"The way Sally was written rang true to me in that sense. But I felt like I hadn’t seen that kind of character as a leading lady on screen. That’s what made me want to play her."

Where have you seen Katherine Kelly before?

Coronation Street, Cheat, Liar

Katherine Kelly’s best TV shows

Sam Wright – Jamie Bamber


Sam has moved on since his wife’s conviction and is due to marry Karen. But does Sally have other ideas?

Jamie says: "His world is going to be much more constraining because you’re suddenly having to deal with the fact that your personal choices are going to be public choices -everyone’s going to know about them and your freedom is going to be limited in terms of who you can be open with."

Where have you seen Jamie Bamber before?

Battlestar Galactica, Marcella, Law & Order: UK

Karen Moss – Priyanga Burford


Karen is loved up with Sally’s ex, who she now lives with alongside her daughter.

Priyanga reveals: "She’s come to this place looking for a new start and trying to have a good life. It’s all just slipping away from her and she can’t claw it back and it’s all breaking apart and it’s really difficult. 

"She’s not a bad woman, she’s trying to make a good life for herself. She’s trying to deal with her difficult relationship with her teenage daughter.

"She’s trying to build a life in a brand new place where she feels very much like the outsider. And then something happens and her world starts to fall apart and she is just not very good at dealing with it. She’s not Zen-like, she’s not emotionally wise or anything like that. She is side-swiped by it and I hope people will identify with that and see something truthful."

Where have you seen Priyanga Burford before?

Press, Industry, King Charles III

DCI Mike Braithwaite - Shaun Dooley

Shaun says of his character: "I’ve never seen a detective so obsessed with empathy in the way he goes about his investigation, the way he treats individuals and how he treats them differently in whatever situation and how he also understands what is within people and makes them capable of doing something.

"He never has an opinion on that, he just goes with empathy and morality and I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. 

"I completely fell in love with him and also that he’s broken. I loved having to play somebody that instead of going back on a night to see this guy nursing a whisky and still thinking about the investigation, you went home to see a grieving, broken man who has to regalvanise himself back to being able to go back to work on that first day."

Where have you seen Shaun Dooley before?

Misfits, It's A Sin, The Stranger

Hollins - Janine Wood

Where have you seen her before?

After Henry, Rocket Man (TV series)

Paine - Laura Rollins

Where have you seen her before?


Brown - Michael Stevenson

Where have you seen him before?



Braithwaite leads this team of officers in CID, who are reinvestigating Matty’s murder after Sally is released.

Bethany - Amy-Leigh Hickman


Bethany is Karen’s daughter, and unsure about Sam becoming her stepdad.

Where have you seen Amy-Leigh Hickman before?

Ackley Bridge, Our Girl, Safe

Maria Taylor - Lucy Black


Maria is struggling with both the loss of her son Matty and the behaviour of her husband John.

Where have you seen Lucy Black before?

The Durrells, Gentleman Jack, Jericho

John Taylor - Andrew Tiernan


A troubled soul, John is mourning the loss of his son.

Where have you seen Andrew Tiernan before?

In A Land Of Plenty, Murderland, Marcella

Anna Stamp – Ellie Rawnsley


Anna was one of Matty’s peers at school.

Where have you seen Ellie Rawnsley before?

Summer of Rockets

Where was Innocent filmed?

Innocent was filmed on location in the Lake District and Ireland in 2020.

Producer Jeremy Gwilt reveals it was tricky filming during the pandemic.

"In March 2020 we had to suspend through until the end of August. Once we got back on the road, it just meant that in order to start filming in Ireland, every single artist had to spend 14 days locked up in a hotel room in what was called restricted movement, which basically meant you could have a little walk by the sea and maybe buy something from the local supermarket," he explains.

Fellow executive producer Chris Lang said basing the story in the Lake District was a key part of the show.

He says: "It was important to be able to depict a fairly small community where Sally’s place would be… we wanted to use that in order to further her sense of being in a goldfish bowl. Everyone knowing each other and everyone knowing each other’s business."

Katherine Kelly adds: "When we got to the Lakes – and we really made the most of the time we had there – it was everything we hoped, we got the weather and really got everything we discussed.

"It felt like it gave perspective to Sally and her character – looks at this that’s been here for thousands and thousands of years and all the people that have stood here and looked at this and the people who will stand here and how brief life is.

"She wasn’t going to dwell on those five years because time is so precious and there isn’t much left of it. She wants to get on with her life and drink it in as much as possible and I think there was no greater place to do that than stood in the middle of that prehistoric terrain."

What happened in Innocent season 1?

Steffan Hill

Apart from both having a central character attempting to prove their innocence after being convicted of a crime they didn't commit, there is no connection between the new series of Innocent and the first season, which originally aired in 2018.

Season 1 saw David Collins (played by Lee Ingleby, above) acquitted on a technicality having served seven years of a life sentence for the murder of his wife, Tara. He returns to his home town vowing to find the person who killed his wife and to regain custody of his two children.

Tara's sister Alice (Hermione Norris) and her husband Rob (Adrian Rawlins) struggle to accept David's innocence, while he, increasingly isolated by the community, turns to his brother Phil (Daniel Ryan) for support.

Innocent season 2 begins on ITV on Monday May 17, airing each night at 9pm until its concluding episode on Thursday May 20. The series will be then available on ITV Hub and BritBox UK.