11 facts about the Sex Education cast you (probably) never knew


Nearly a year after its initial run, Sex Education has returned to our screens with a hotly-anticipated second series.

The show, which chronicles a group of teenagers as they navigate sex and relationships alongside their studies, has received plaudits from critics for its accurate depictions of real teenage lives in the modern world.

The cast have also been praised for their talents and garnered huge fanbases thanks to the show.

But there's plenty that viewers might not know about them. Here are 11 facts about the Sex Education that you (probably) didn't know...

1. Emma Mackey's father is French and she grew up in France

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Despite her English accent, Mackey – whose full name is Emma Margaret Tachard-Mackey – is actually half French and grew up in France.

Her father, Philippe, is French, while her mother, Rachel, is English.

Speaking about her childhood, she previously told Reggie Yates on Belstaff’s Road Less Travelled podcast: “I grew up in the Loire Valley, it’s very rural. There's a lot of farming going on, there's a lot of food, agricultural industry going on round there.

“It was really, a really lovely place to grow up um, kind of yeah, really quite peaceful, really, really nice.”

As a result of her upbringing, she is bilingual.

2. Aimee Lou Wood and Connor Swindells are dating

Aimee Lou Wood (who plays Aimee Gibbs) and Connor Swindells, (Adam Groff) are dating in real life.

Their characters were an item in the first series but their relationship didn't last and. Aimee got a new boyfriend, while Adam had a brief and complex relationship with Eric Effiong.

After the series aired, Gibbs and Swindells revealed they are dating in real life with a series of loved-up snaps.

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3. Mimi Keene was in EastEnders

(BBC/Kieron McCarron)
(BBC/Kieron McCarron)

If you recognised Mimi Keene (aka school bully Ruby who ended up being, um, exposed) from the small screen then you’re probably thinking of her role in EastEnders.

The 21-year-old actress starred in the iconic soap from 2013 to 2015, playing Cindy Williams, the daughter of Cindy Beale and Nick Holland.

4. Asa Butterfield’s mother is a psychologist

(Sam Taylor/Netflix)
(Sam Taylor/Netflix)

During an interview with the Telegraph last year, Butterfield revealed that his character Otis and he have a similarity – both of their mothers work in slightly similar fields.

Otis’ mother, Jean, is a sex therapist, while Butterfield’s mother, Jacqueline, is a psychologist.

He said that shooting the uncomfortable scene where Gillian Anderson – who plays Jean – attempted to have The Talk with Otis, harked back to his time as a teenager.

He told the newspaper: “I could hear by the tone of her voice what the conversation was going to be about, and I was like, ‘Mum, I’m not having this, I’m sorry but I’m not’, and I walked out.

“It’s hard for teenagers to have those conversations with their parents, but I think it’s just as hard for the parent to broach that topic with their child.

“You’d almost rather have that talk with anyone else, even a complete stranger, than your own parents.”

5. Ncuti Gatwa has performed at London's Globe theatre

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Gatwa, who was born in Rwanda and raised in Scotland, began his career beginnings in Scotland performing in several plays at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland after training there.

His talent was soon noticed and took him to London where he trod the boards at the famous Shakespeare's Globe theatre in London where he starred in two plays, The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

6. The show had a sex intimacy director to help the cast

Behind the scenes at Sex Education: Kedar Williams-Stirling as Jackson (Netflix)
Behind the scenes at Sex Education: Kedar Williams-Stirling as Jackson (Netflix)

As the show is based around sex and involves the characters doing multiple sexual acts on screen, showrunners made sure that the actors were comfortable with the scenes by hiring a sex intimacy director.

Speaking about it to the Express, Jackson actor Kedar Williams-Stirling said: “We had a workshop before [the show] where we studied different animals having sex and then that would kind of come into play with how our characters are having sex.

“When it came to our sex scenes and how we were shooting… it was like a choreographed dance. It was great. And it was a closed set - there weren’t that many people on set.”

7. Gillian Anderson's fellow classmates didn't think too highly of her...

Gillian Anderson as as Dr Jean F. Milburn (Netflix)
Gillian Anderson as as Dr Jean F. Milburn (Netflix)

During an interview with Out Magazine, she said she voted “Most Bizarre” and “Most Likely to Be Arrested.”

Both descriptions, she said, contained a kernel of truth.

"It was based on how I chose to look, dress, behave, you know—the relationships I was in at the time were freaking people out," she explained.

“I was in a relationship with a girl for a long time when I was in high school, and then I was in a relationship with a punk rock drug addict…

“And then I was in a relationship with somebody who was way, way older than me.

"Everything that that kind of anarchistic attitude brings—the inappropriate behaviour it leads to—was how I chose to be in the world at that time, which was, you know, not what people did.”

8. Tanya Reynolds, who plays Lily Iglehart​​, has appeared in short films shown at the Edinburgh Fringe festival

Tanya Reynolds (left) and Patricia Allison as Ola Nyman (Netflix)
Tanya Reynolds (left) and Patricia Allison as Ola Nyman (Netflix)

Reynolds first appeared on screen in several short films, Civilised People by UK comedy duo In Cahoots, which was shown at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2015.

She also starred in The Jealous Boyfriend, also by In Cahoots.

9. Mikael Persbrandt has released an album


Persbrandt​ (who plays Jakob Nyman) released an album titled Someone You Love, which peaked at number 29 in the Danish music charts.

It accompanied a 2014 Danish film of the same name, which he also starred in.

10. Alistair Petrie appeared in Star Wars: Rogue One


Petrie plays headteacher Mr. Groff but in Star Wars, he took on the role of General Davits Draven, who was a member of the Rebel Alliance.

11. Kedar Williams-Stirling went to the same school as Naomi Campbell, Russell Brand and Louise Redknapp​

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The Jackson Marchetti actor trained at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London, which, coincidentally, his co-star Mimi Keene also went to.

Read more

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