Sitcom Kate & Koji has recast one of its leads ahead of a second series.
Starring Brenda Blethyn and Jimmy Akingbola in the title roles, Series 1 launched on ITV in Spring 2020 as the first coronavirus lockdown hit. Reaching audiences of almost 5 million viewers, a second series was swiftly commissioned but production has been delayed by the pandemic until now.
Meanwhile, Akingbola has been cast as butler Geoffrey in a drama reimagining of America's hit 1990s comedy The French Prince Of Bel Air, rendering him unavailable to continue in the role.
Chukwu says: "I'm excited to step into the role of Koji and I can't wait to get working with this brilliant cast of actors."
Brenda Blethyn said "I'm so pleased Kate will be welcoming her customers back into the caff. Even the postman! I've missed them. So looking forward to donning the gingham apron and welcoming Okorie to our Kate & Koji family."
The series is created and written by Guy Jenkin and Andy Hamilton (Outnumbered, Drop The Dead Donkey), who say: "We were disappointed to have to postpone the second series because of the big Covid spike in January 2021, but now we're looking forward to getting back into Kate's seaside café with our superb cast, performing in front of a live studio audience."
ITV's Head of Scripted Comedy, Nana Hughes said "We are all very excited that Okorie has joined the show as Koji. Guy and Andy have as usual written incredibly funny scripts which Brenda and the gang will bring to life brilliantly. The audience is in for a real treat."
Kate & Koji Series 2 is expected to record early in the new year for broadcast in the spring.