Intruder – who stars alongside Sally Lindsay in the Channel 5 thriller? Meet the cast and characters

A tense drama sees a couple commit, and attempt to conceal, a crime they never thought they’d be capable of. Here’s all you need to know about who stars in it.

Published: 8 April 2021 - 7.49pm
Drama Crime Drama

Channel 5

Intruder is a police drama with a difference – we all know from the start who has committed the murder, but a canny officer with a keen sense of justice will have to dig deep to prove it.

Sam and Rebecca appear to have the perfect life in their luxurious coastal home, until one night they disturb two teenage intruders.

As the boys try to flee the scene, Sam flies into a rage and stabs one of them, Syed, in the back. The couple and their friend Angela, who’s visiting their house, quickly realise the killing is murder, not self-defence.

It seems as though the trio will be able to stage events to look like Syed attacked them first, but they haven’t reckoned with family liaison officer Bailey who is quietly watching and observing every step they take.

However, there’s more than just the murder for Bailey to tread carefully with when she realises that the case is being swept aside as part of a web of police corruption that involves her own boss.

Meet the characters tangled in the web of deception, and the actors who play them.

Karen Bailey – Played by Sally Lindsay

Intruder Sally Lindsay Channel 5

Starring in Intruder is Sally Lindsay, who plays key character Karen Bailey, a family liaison officer assigned to the case.

Although her job isn’t to investigate what happened on the night of Syed's death, as she grows closer to the people involved she starts to suspect something isn’t quite right.

When Bailey meets Syed’s bereaved father and hears that his son would be incapable of attacking someone, she realises the case is more complicated than Sam and Rebecca are claiming.

Lindsay said: “Bailey is genuinely out for justice and she doesn’t judge people, she wants to do well at her job so she is very by the book and extremely professional and that's why she does this job, to help people and genuinely make the world a better place.

"She has a great sense of fairness and her head is turned by the screaming injustices occurring.”

She added that she’d taken inspiration for Bailey from her own parents and their careers as social workers.

Lindsay said: “My mum and step-dad are social workers, and I think family liaison officers are extremely perceptive people, very much like social workers.

"Bailey is influenced by my mum's experiences of reading the room but also being terribly sensitive and empathetic, because everything you hear may or may not be true. Bailey is used to it, just like my mum was and I've drawn on a lot of that experience.”

Where have you seen Sally Lindsay before?

Coronation Street, Still Open All Hours, Mount Pleasant, Cold Call

Sam Hickey – Played by Tom Meeten

Intruder Tom Meeten Channel 5

At the centre of the storm is Sam, who loses control in a moment of rage with the intruders and murders one of them.

Tom Meeten said of playing him: "Sam is not a good person, but that, I think, is why I enjoyed playing him because the Devil plays the best tunes. He's not even Devilish though, he’s so much more pathetic than that and that is worse. He's not motivated by any sort of grand scheme: it’s selfish survival. But he thinks he’s good person. It was fascinating to play someone righteous and awful.”

Meeten explained that Sam feels emasculated by bullying from his boss and along with his drug use, it makes for a toxic combination.

He said: “All that aggression, impotence and insecurity spirals and he's got no idea, no control and he quickly loses any sense of himself and what's going on. You get to see that it's probably happened before, it just maybe hasn't had the same consequences. But this time, there are obvious consequences that destroy their lives.”

Meeten added that Sam’s marriage to Rebecca is a dysfunctional one that begins to unravel under the pressure of what they have done, and that he also struggles to deal with their friend Angela who is in on the secret.

He said: “It's complex, like most relationships. His wife is in control and he's just faltering at every step. Rebecca is a strong lady and Elaine [Cassidy] has a brilliant intensity. The dysfunction continues in his relationship with Angela. He’s so out of his depth he's in quicksand - the more he struggles, the faster he falls in. He's got no control whatsoever.”

Where have you seen Tom Meeten before?

Crackanory, Motherland, Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy

Rebecca Hickey – Played by Elaine Cassidy

Intruder Elaine Cassidy Channel 5

Investigative journalist Rebecca is plunged into a nightmare when she chooses to support husband Sam in his lie.

Elaine Cassidy, who plays her, explained that there’s more to Rebecca than meets the eye: “When you first meet Rebecca, she just seems like a standard, normal, healthy person, but we learn that she's not. We don't all know how we would react in the situation, I don't fully know how I would react, but I don't think I go down the route Rebecca goes down!”

Although Rebecca describes Angela as a friend and colleague, it emerges that Angela and Sam have had an affair.

Talking about how it affects Rebecca’s actions, Cassidy said: “I felt it was important that Rebecca and Sam’s relationship wasn't dead in the water. If that was the case, then it didn't fully support where Rebecca ends up or what she ends up doing.

“I'd like to think the relationship had been neglected a little bit, but the love was still there…they’ve built a life together. But obviously, something has gone wrong in the relationship for Sam to have strayed.”

Where have you seen Elaine Cassidy before?

No Offence, The Paradise, Fingersmith

Angela – Played by Helen Behan

The weak link in Sam and Rebecca’s story of what happened on the night of the break-in is Angela, a friend who was visiting them and saw events unfold.

Viewers will see the couple’s relationship with Angela turns out to be a little more complex – although she is a friend of Rebecca’s, she has been having an affair with Sam.

Throw Angela’s drinking and loose cannon nature into the mix, and she ends up being a very dangerous part of the couple’s lives.

Helen Behan, who plays her, said: “What motivates her to behave the way she does is loneliness and the sense of her own isolation. She had this affair with Sam, and in her own mind she thought they were very happy, she genuinely believed that he would leave his wife for her.

“When this truly awful event occurs, she initially wants to help because she cares about them, but also sees it as a means to an end. She then realises that Sam no longer wants her in that way, so her agenda changes and she turns down a darker path."

Where have you seen Helen Behan before?

The Virtues, Elizabeth is Missing, This Is England ’88 and ‘90

Syed – Played by Sonny Poon Tip

Murder victim Syed is quickly revealed to be very different from the hardened criminal that Sam and Rebecca try to paint him as.

He has fallen in with the wrong crowd at school while trying to rebel against his father, an academic. His rebellion ends up having disastrous consequences.

He is played by TV newcomer Sonny Poon Tip, who said: “Syed doesn’t want to break into Sam and Rebecca’s house but there are these outside pressures, mainly pressure from Tommy. It’s not the desired route and from his hobbies that you discover that he’s an avid drawer and an artist and I think that shows he has a good heart.

“Ultimately, he made a fatal mistake, a naive mistake; one that he would not have made again, had he got out alive…”

Tommy – Played by Adam Richardson

Syed’s part in the break-in is influenced by Tommy, a character with a rough background who has found himself on a difficult path.

It is actor Adam Richardson’s first role, and he said that he had taken inspiration from some of the people he knew growing up in playing Tommy.

“I would have grown up around a lot of people like Tommy, the guys who must do things they might not want in order to survive," he said.

“I thought about the effects of not having any education, job experience or family looking out for you and then I looked into the math of drug dealing to better understand Tommy’s thought process and how it made sense for him to have the biggest turnover financially to move on up in the world - as he sees it.”

Intruder begins on Monday April 5 at 9pm on Channel 5 and continues nightly until Thursday April 8.

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