Who's who in Liar: Meet the cast and characters of the ITV drama

Discover who plays who in Joanne Froggatt and Ioan Gruffudd's incredible dark drama...

By Sophia Moir Published: 16 March 2020 - 3.05pm
ITV

Joanne Froggatt and Ioan Gruffudd's dark ITV drama Liar was destined to get the nation talking.

The story of one night and two very different stories, the series kept viewers guessing about who is telling the truth - teacher Laura Nielson (Froggatt) or surgeon Andrew Earlham (Gruffudd).

As it returns for a second series, here's our guide to Liar's key cast and characters.

Laura Nielson (Joanne Froggatt)

Laura Nielson Liar ITV

Innately resilient, Laura is slowly recovering from the events of the last series. She found the evidence that proves Andrew raped her as well as many other women, but afterwards was forced to live always looking over her shoulder, knowing that Andrew was out there, still missing.

Now, the secondary school teacher’s life will once again be rocked when Andrew is found dead. Only her own relentless determination can free her from Andrew’s grip once and for all.

You'll recognise actress Froggatt from her long-running role as Anna in ITV's period drama Downton Abbey, as well as for playing Victorian serial killer Mary Ann Cotton in Dark Angel.

Andrew Earlham (Ioan Gruffudd)

Liar Andrew ITV

In equal parts charismatic and depraved, Andrew was a man who committed monstrous acts. But his solipsistic nature proved more dangerous than ever after he was forced to go on the run.

As we’ll see in series 2, the fugitive Andrew sought vengeance, and when he’s found dead, the extent of his deftly crafted web will gradually be laid bare.

Movie fans will recognise Gruffudd from his role as Reed Richards in the Fantastic Four films. You might also know him from his role as Dr Daniel Harrow in TV series Harrow.

DI Karen Renton (Katherine Kelly)

Katherine Kelly Liar ITV

Straight-talking DI Renton is an unconventional police officer whose bluntness sometimes takes people aback. But it’s a quality that has led to her swift rise in the London Met, gaining a reputation as one of the country’s most reliable homicide detectives.

She’s not without vulnerability however – her past holds painful memories that shape the way she polices now.

Actress Katherine Kelly is no stranger to crime dramas - she's appeared in Happy Valley, Criminal and Cheat. You might also recognise her from roles in Coronation Street and Mr Selfridge.

DS Rory Maxwell (Danny Webb)

Liar Rory ITV

Rory is a trustworthy officer held in high regard in the police force. A family man, with strong personal and professional relationships, Rory has always handled his cases with the upmost professionalism.

However, when he’s assigned to work with DI Renton on the Andrew Earlham murder case, his traditional methods clash with Renton’s provocative tactics.

Danny Webb played Mortimer in The Halcyon, and Sydney Garin in SS-GB. He starred as Hobb in the TV series Humans and was also part of Brookside in the 1980s.

Oliver Graham (Sam Spruell)

Sam Spruell Liar ITV

An enigmatic figure, Oliver arrives in town at the beginning of series 2. His connection with Andrew’s past will become clear as the series progresses, and we’ll uncover the strange turn of events that brought him and Andrew together years ago in Edinburgh.

Years later, he again becomes deeply entangled in Andrew’s web of lies, and his actions will have far-reaching consequences for Laura’s fate.

Spruell is most known for his role as Finn in Snow White and the Huntsman, as well as roles in Legend, Taken 3 and The Counsellor.

Winnie Peterson (Amy Nuttall)

Amy Nuttall Liar ITV

Gentle, with an underlying inner strength, Winnie is a nurse who worked with Andrew before he died. After Laura uncovered Andrew’s recordings, Winnie’s life changed, and a friendship began to blossom between her and Laura.

But Winnie’s marriage has been disturbed by the discovery of the tapes, and with husband Carl retreating into his shell, it’s only a matter of time before it implodes.

Nuttall will be reuniting with her former Downton Abbey co-star Joanne Froggatt in Liar, as the Bolton-born actress played Ethel in the ITV period drama.

Carl Peterson (Howard Charles)

Howard Charles Liar ITV

Carl is an army veteran with traditional values, who now makes a living maintaining and repairing boats. Recently his life was turned upside down, and he’s retreated into himself.

Weighed down by feelings of guilt and anguish, Carl is spiralling out of control with potentially dangerous consequences.

Charles has appeared in TV series including The Widow, The Red Line and The Musketeers.

Katy Sutcliffe (Zoë Tapper)

Zoe Tapper Liar ITV

Smart and frank, Katy shares many qualities with her sister Laura. The two were once very close. However, in the last series, secrets were revealed that threatened to divide the sisters forever.

Now Katy is nearing estrangement from Liam, the father of her two children, as well as Laura. The scars are not healed yet and Katie is living on a knife edge between recovery and breakdown.

Tapper has appeared in TV shows including Mr Selfridge, Nightflyers and Survivors.

Liam Sutcliffe (Richie Campbell)

Richie Campbell Liar ITV

Patient, kind, and a devoted father to their two little boys, Liam was deeply hurt by the revelation that Katy had been unfaithful. He’s coping as best he can despite his and Katy’s estrangement, but will Katy open herself up enough for their union to be reborn?

You might recognise Campbell from roles in The Frankenstein Chronicles, Wisting and Waterloo Road.

DI Vanessa Harmon (Shelley Conn)

Shelley Conn Liar ITV

Calm, professional and passionate about her work, DI Harmon takes pride in the care she puts into every case she is assigned. But Laura’s rape case devastated her life in a way she never expected when she too became one of Andrew’s victims.

Now on the road to recovery, Vanessa is focusing on the arrival of her baby, with wife Jennifer. But the death of Andrew will force her to come clean about past actions she thought could stay hidden.

Conn starred as Princess Pondicherry in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Johnny Depp, and has also appeared in TV shows including Deep State, Mistresses and Strike Back.

Jennifer Robertson (Jill Halfpenny)

Jill Halfpenny Liar ITV

Vanessa’s wife Jennifer is looking forward to the arrival of their new baby, but she hasn’t put her anger towards Andrew and what he did to bed. Andrew never paid for what he did – a fact that Jennifer has not forgotten.

Halfpenny has appeared in various hit TV shows including Waterloo Road, EastEnders, Humans and Babylon.

Luke Earlham (Jamie Flatters)

Jamie Flatters Liar ITV

The son of Andrew, who has been brought up alone by his father following the death of his mother over a decade ago. He also has a connection to Laura as he's one of the students in her English class. 

At first, Luke defended his dad, but by the end of the series, he didn't seem convinced by Andrew's lies. In fact, he seemed distressed when his dad asked him to give a fake alibi to the police. 

Teen actor Flatters has appeared in the TV series So Awkward, and also also been cast as the character of Neteyam in the next three blockbuster Avatar films.

Ian (Kieran Bew)

Liar Ian ITV

Laura's boyfriend, who she met at the airport in series 1 and who she had begun dating by the end of the series. The pair are still romantically involved in series 2, although we've yet to discover how Andrew's murder impacts their relationship.

The actor is also known for roles in the TV series Warrior, as well as Rellik and Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands.

Also appearing in Liar series two...

Sian Clifford, best known for playing the title character's sister Claire in Fleabag, appears in Liar as Laura's no-nonsense solicitor Ruby Allen. Clifford will soon be starring as Diana Ingram in ITV drama Quiz and recently made a guest appearance in Mel and Sue sitcom Hitmen. 

Jack Colgrave Hirst plays Greg Maxwell, like his father Rory a detective and a rising star within the National Crime Agency. An acclaimed stage actor, Colgrave Hirst appeared in Ben Elton's Shakespeare biopic All Is True and played Thomas Hartnell in the first series of The Terror.

Oliver Maltman returns as Nick Pillar, a surgeon who worked alongside Earlham before his death. Maltman played Jim Orr, Prince Philip's private secretary, in The Crown, and Michael Gove in TV movie Brexit: The Uncivil War.

Liar continues Mondays at 9pm on ITV.