An actress from Witney is the star of a new four-part BBC drama.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who was born in Oxford and went to Henry Box School in Witney, has taken on the main role of Jane in The Girl Before, a drama based on the 2016 novel of the same name.

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The series will air on the BBC over four nights between December 19 and 22.

The show also stars David Oyelowo, Jessica Plummer and Ben Hardy in leading roles.

The Girl Before’s synopsis reads: ‘Everything that is yours was once hers. A young woman moves into a dream home, but its dark history looms large’.

Mbatha-Raw was born in Oxford in in 1983 and then grew up in Witney.

She attended The Henry Box school because she interested in performing and the arts from a young age she was part of the National Youth Theatre.

In 2001, she went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), one of the UK’s leading drama schools, to train.

Her career began with small roles in programmes such as Bad Girls and Doctor Who, where she played Tish Jones, the sister of the doctor’s companion Martha Jones.

Mbatha-Raw gained widespread attention for her role in Belle a period drama about historical figure Dido Elizabeth Belle, a mixed race woman who was raised as a gentlewoman in 18th century England.

Following this she toom roles in Black Mirror, A Wrinkle in Time, The Cloverfield Paradox and Loki.


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