ITV announces casting and commencement of filming for glossy, high stakes family drama, Riches, written and created by Abby Ajayi and produced by Greenacre Films
ITV and Greenacre Films six part aspirational drama, Riches, has commenced filming in London with a stellar cast leading the production.
Deborah Ayorinde (Them, Truth Be Told) stars as Nina, the estranged daughter of self-made millionaire Stephen Richards played by Hugh Quarshie (Stephen, The Murder of Stephen Lawrence). Sarah Niles (Ted Lasso, I May Destroy You) plays Stephen’s second wife, Claudia, and Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey, Requiem) is Stephen’s trusted advisor and confidante, Gideon. Hermione Norris (Cold Feet and Luther) will play Stephen’s long-standing and faithful PA, Maureen Dawson.
The cast also includes Adeyinka Akinrinade (Top Boy, Temple), Ola Orebiyi (Cherry, A Brixton Tale), CJ Beckford (Sitting in Limbo, The Trial of Christine Keeler), Nneka Okoye (Grantchester, The A List) and Emmanuel Imani (Cobra, Black Earth Rising).
Riches focuses upon the exploits of the brash, super-successful and wealthy Richards family, and is written and created by Abby Ajayi (How To Get Away With Murder, Four Weddings And A Funeral, Inventing Anna).
Abby Ajayi’s witty and deftly written scripts introduce us to charismatic and formidable Stephen Richards, a self-made millionaire who puts the Rich into Richards!
Commented Abby Ajayi:
“Riches is a love letter to Black London and it has been thrilling to create the Richards’ family and celebrate their opulence, their ambition and their immigrant grit. Our talented ensemble of actors are a joy and I’m excited to be partnering with Amazon and ITV, working alongside the powerhouses of Greenacre Films and Monumental Television to bring this show to the screen.”
A smart businessman, with an undeniably ruthless streak, Stephen Richards is one of the UK’s most successful Black businessmen.
He’s built his renowned business empire, Flair & Glory, through hard work and his entrepreneurial skills, making it the market leader in black hair and beauty. But, his rise to the top hasn’t been easy.
After 20 years of success, he’s at the helm of a multi-million pound cosmetics empire and is reaping the rewards of his ambitions. He’s a great advocate for black-owned business; powerful, driven and impassioned, and with a glamourous, second wife, Claudia (Sarah Niles), life is never dull. Along with their adult children, Alesha (Adeyinka Akinrinade), Gus (Ola Orebiyi) and Wanda (Nneka Okoye) they love spending their hard-earned cash and enjoying the good life.
Whilst in New York, Nina (Deborah Ayorinde), and Simon (Emmanuel Imani), his estranged children from his first marriage, have established themselves as business people in their own right, each successful in their own field.
When Stephen suffers a stroke, the family’s world comes crashing down. As his life hangs in the balance, his different sets of children are about to collide. With secrets and lies rising to the surface and the Richards empire at stake, it’s going to be a complicated family reunion.
Riches has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama, Polly Hill.
Commented Polly Hill:
“Abby’s scripts are brilliant, full of family feuds in a world of privilege and power that surprise and entertain. We are delighted with the brilliant cast we have, and can’t wait to see them bring Abby’s characters to life. It promises to be a real treat for the ITV audience next year.”
Nadine Marsh-Edwards (Unsaid Stories, Been So Long) and Amanda Jenks (The Girl, Been So Long) are executive producers for Greenacre Films.
Riches is being made in association with Monumental Television with Alison Owen (Ghosts, Harlots, Murder in Provence) and Alison Carpenter (Ghosts, Harlots, Yonderland) executive producing on their behalf. Riches will be produced by Yvonne Francas (The Syndicate, Our Girl, Death in Paradise) and directed by Sebastian Thiel, Abby Ajayi and Darcia Martin.
Commented Nadine Marsh-Edwards and Amanda Jenks for Greenacre Films:
“We are delighted to be working with Polly Hill and ITV to bring Abby Ajayi’s brilliant scripts to life and thrilled to be working with such a great team in Amazon Studios and Monumental Television.”
Riches is produced by Greenacre Films in association with Monumental Television and commissioned by ITV in partnership with Amazon Studios.
Amazon Studios have acquired Riches and will air the drama outside the UK once it has broadcast on ITV.
Banijay Rights will be responsible for international distribution of the drama on behalf of Greenacre Films.