McDonald & Dodds season 2: Meet the cast and characters in the return of light-hearted crime drama

Tala Gouveia and Jason Watkins are back - alongside a plethora of new guest stars – for McDonald & Dodds season 2. Who's joining the mismatched cops for more murder mystery?

By Becky Gamester-Newton Published: 20 June 2022 - 10.09am
ITV Tala Gouveia and Jason Watkins in McDonald & Dodds

McDonald & Dodds returns to ITV with three more murder mysteries.

If you haven’t watched the first season yet, it’s not essential but it’s a great way to get to know the two main characters, DCI Lauren McDonald and DS Dodds.

McDonald & Dodds season 1 is available to watch on BritBox.

Season 2 sees the two title characters – brilliantly played by Tala Gouveia and Jason Watkins – tackle bizarre murder mysteries with a dash of light humour along the way.

McDonald & Dodds: 3 reasons why you’ll love season 2

Filming McDonald & Dodds in 2020 ‘was like a really rubbish party’

Meet the McDonald & Dodds season 2 cast

DCI Lauren McDonald – Played by Tala Gouveia

Tala Gouveia in McDonald & Dodds ITV

Where have you seen her before?

Scream Street and Cold Feet. She’s also the voice of Tala in CBeebies show Go Jetters.

Tala Gouveia on DCI McDonald

“She’s really unapologetic, I think. She’s not afraid to take up space and it’s lovely just being able to take up that space with this character. I love her flaws actually. She’s just well-rounded and flawed.

“She doesn’t mention leaving as much this series. I think she doesn’t want to put roots down but they are just growing anyway. Series two picks up some time after the end of series one, so she and Dodds have had a few more cases in between that have happened off screen.”

DS Dodds – Played by Jason Watkins

Jason Watkins in McDonald & Dodds ITV

Where have you seen him before?

The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, The Crown, Des, Trollied, W1A.

Jason Watkins’ best movies and TV shows

Jason Watkins on DS Dodds

“I love playing him, and I really hope to continue to play him for more series. Robert Murphy, the creator, has really created a wonderful character. You could say he is a bit like Columbo, but there is also a bit of Poirot in there too.

“Dodds has a gentleness to him, a naivety, but in many ways that is his strength. He is able to use his perceived innocence to get information out of whoever he is with and use it to his advantage.

“What I also love about him is that while he is self aware in some ways, he is completely unaware of his strange quirks, like eating his chips dipped in butter. I think there was even a #chipsandbutter doing the rounds on social media during the first series!”

Chief Superintendent John Houseman – James Murray

James Murray in McDonald & Dodds ITV

Where have you seen him before?

Primeval, Suspects, Cucumber.

James Murray on DCS Houseman

“It was nice to get back in the saddle and revisit Houseman, and also put a bit more flesh on the bone with him this series. He is quite elusive and mysterious so I worked with the writer to get a bit more backstory on the screen this time. We learn about his home life a little bit, and we get to see a bit more vulnerability to him.”

DC Darren Craig – Jack Riddiford

Jack Riddiford in McDonald & Dodds ITV

Where have you seen him before?

Dunkirk, Murder on the Orient Express.

Jack Riddiford on DC Craig

“We see how he deals with responsibility when he is given some more. He has always been good at his job but he has always been safe and he knows what he needs to do to keep McDonald and Dodds happy. But with Milena joining, he needs to up his game a bit because she is better at the job than he is.”

DC Milena Paciorkowski – Lily Sacofsky

Lily Sacofsky in McDonald & Dodds ITV

Where have you seen her before?

Bancroft, Sanditon.

Lily Sacofsky on DC Paciorkowski

"Milena is originally from Poland but has lived in the UK for a lot of her life. She is from a working class background, is well educated and she wants to be taken seriously as a detective.

“You wouldn’t mess with her, she doesn’t take any cr*p from anyone. She keeps people at a distance and is very much there to do the job; she doesn’t let her guard down very much. She really wants to get to the level McDonald is at, and to her McDonald is like a celebrity because she has worked her way up as a woman in a man’s world.”

Episode 1 cast

Barbara Graham – Patsy Kensit

Patsy Kensit in McDonald & Dodds ITV

Where have you seen her before?

Emmerdale, Holby City, Celebrity Big Brother, Lethal Weapon 2.

Patsy Kensit on Barbara

“She was a presenter in the 80s and a bit of a trendy girl about town. In the present day, she is doing commercials and she has built a nice life for herself. She often doesn’t think before she speaks, and that can get her in trouble.

“She is quite lonely and relies deeply on the contact with her other three friends, especially Mick. Because they all were quite big in the 80s, it’s almost like they have one mind, and are in sync with each other. They think they are untouchable and can do as they please - even trying to cover up a crime.”

Gordon Elmwood – Rupert Graves

Rupert Graves in McDonald & Dodds ITV

Where have you seen him before?

Sherlock, The Madness of King George, The Forsyte Saga.

Mick Elkins – Martin Kemp

Martin Kemp in McDonald & Dodds ITV

Where have you seen him before?

The Krays, EastEnders, Celebrity Big Brother - and he was the bassist in Spandau Ballet.

Martin Kemp on Mick

“He was a music executive in the 80s and I come from those days when music execs were not all they seemed to be. You could never quite work out why they were successful. They were almost like market traders, rather than someone who should have been in Sony or wherever.

“Mick is the leader of this gang of four friends who have all tasted fame in the past and he is the one they look to. He is a strong character, which I love to play, but there is also some vulnerability to him. He is the one that organises the balloon trip which ends with a fifth member of their circle not making it out alive. There are lots of secrets and myself, Patsy, Cathy and Rupert’s characters are all suspects.”

Roy Gilbert – Rob Brydon

Rob Brydon in McDonald & Dodds ITV

Where have you seen him before?

Gavin & Stacey, The Trip, A Cock And Bull Story. His voice is also featured in nine adaptations of the Julia Donaldson/Axel Scheffler children’s books.

Jackie Somner – Cathy Tyson

Cathy Tyson in McDonald & Dodds ITV

Where have you seen her before?

Band of Gold, Emmerdale, Grange Hill. She’s also the voice of Gran Gran in CBeebies show JoJo & Gran Gran.

Episode 2 cast

Doreen Warren – Sharon Rooney

Sharon Rooney in McDonald & Dodds ITV

Where have you seen her before?

Finding Alice, My Mad Fat Diary, Brief Encounters. She’s also the voice of Miss Atlantis in the 2019 remake of Dumbo.

Sharon Rooney on Doreen

“Doreen is the put-upon friend, and almost like the mum of the group. She organised the whole weekend away for her best friend Angela’s birthday, and Angela is one of those people who loves to be in the spotlight while Doreen is happy to be in the background.

“Doreen has different sides to her though, which is always fun as an actor. There is definitely more to her than meets the eye, although that is the case with all of the characters in this series. You think they are one thing and they turn out to be completely different.”

Jimmy Daly – John Thomson

John Thomson in McDonald & Dodds ITV

Where have you seen him before?

Cold Feet, Coronation Street, The Fast Show, Men Behaving Badly and dressed as a ‘Bush Baby’ on The Masked Singer.

John Thomson on Jimmy

“I play Jimmy, who is the chairman of Bath Eagles rugby club.

“He hope’s he’s well liked, but behind his back people think he is a bit of a joke. He is a bit ‘new money’, a Flash Harry. He is also a bit lonely. He is very keen to find a partner, but he goes for women that aren’t interested in him. He fancies himself as a bit of a lothario, but his geeky, nerdy side lets him down. He is a bit of an eccentric really.”

Deborah Winwick – Natalie Gumede

Natalie Gumede in McDonald & Dodds ITV

Where have you seen her before?

Coronation Street, Strictly Come Dancing, Ideal.

Natalie Gumede on Deborah

“Deborah is a sports agent, and she is the agent to one of the rugby players, Dominique, who ends up being murdered. She is pretty ruthless, but she makes a great agent because she cares a lot for her clients’ bank balances, as well as her own. If she sees an opportunity, she will take it.

“She is a bit of a madam and is used to getting what she wants out of people.”

Hilary O’Doyle – Shelley Conn

Shelley Conn in McDonald & Dodds ITV

Where have you seen her before?

Liar, Mistresses, The Deceived.

Angela McGruder – Joy McAvoy

Joy McAvoy in McDonald & Dodds ITV

Where have you seen her before?

Two Doors Down, Filth.

Series 2 of McDonald & Dodds begins at 8pm on Sunday, February 28, on ITV.

Catch up with series 1 on BritBox.