Who is Simone Ashley? New Bridgerton cast member for season 2

UP-and-coming British actress Simone Ashley has been given a role on the second season of Bridgerton.

As well as appearing in Sex Education, Ashley has also lent her acting chops to suspense drama Thriller.

Who is Simone Ashley?

Simone Ashley is a 25-year-old actress from London.

She shot to fame after starring in hit Netflix show Sex Education.

The star developed her acting skills at the Arts Ed school in Chiswick, which specialises in Musical Theatre & Acting degrees.

Simone has spoken about coming from a traditional Indian family, who find her career in acting "quite scary and unsettling".

She told Veylex: "My parents are incredibly protective over me, and sometimes I found it quite stifling.

"It made me want to escape and do things my own way. I’ve always been a bit rebellious in that sense."

"I am incredibly privileged to be apart of a generation where young women from all over the world have more opportunity than ever before, where we are being less stereotyped and walls and being broken down slowly.

"It can be hard for my parents to understand that sometimes, but I just try to empathize with them and reassure them that I’m going to be fine."

Will Simone Ashley appear in Bridgerton season 2?

Ashley will play Anthony Bridgerton's love interest in the next Bridgerton series.

The star, 25, will take on the plum role in the upcoming Netflix series, with her character's name switched from Kate Sheffield – detailed in the Bridgerton literary series by Julia Quinn – to Kate Sharma, to reflect the actress' South Asian heritage.

She will act alongside Jonathan Bailey and present a feisty force of nature as the plotline centres on his season 2 quest to find a bride.

Netflix's official page teased The Sister actress' arrival to Bridgerton and stated: "Get ready to fall in love with Simone Ashley, who will play Kate in Season 2 of Bridgerton.

"Kate is a smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools — Anthony Bridgerton very much included."

What TV shows has Simone Ashley been in?

Ashley's breakthrough role has been as the "cool girl" Olivia in Sex Education.

Olivia is one of "The Untouchables" in Sex Education's fictional Moordale Secondary School.

Many have seen the role as an achievement for South Asian representation, as it breaks away from the typical roles given to Indian teenage actors.

Sex Education was a massive commercial hit, nominated for two MTV Movie and TV Awards. 

Ashley spoke to EWG about her role as Olivia: “When I read the script for Sex Education, I was so impressed and excited to see the high school setting take a slick spin and introduce a fresh approach to it, one that I could relate to and could see myself in.

"Being a romantic myself, I fell in love with the heartwarming relationships and encounters in the script, and the writing was just so brilliant.” 

Ashley appeared in Broadchurch season three as Dana.

She was also seen in Pokémon Detective Pikachu, the second highest-grossing video game film adaptation of all time.

Does she have a boyfriend?

It is not known if Simone is dating anyone at the moment.

In Sex Education, Simone's character Olivia dates her school-mate Malek, played by Armin Karima.

But her Instagram does feature many loved-up pics – with her pet pooch!

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