Heartstopper casts Irish-Jamaican actor Darragh Hand in season 3

Darragh Hand will play Michael Holden, the quirky, optimistic and heart-warming friend of Charlie's older sister Tori.

Photograph of Darragh Hand waving and posing next to Heartstopper cast mate
Image: X @DannyWxo

Heartstopper has announced that half-Irish, half-Jamaican actor Darragh Hand is joining the cast for season three, and fans already agree that he’s perfect for the part!

Darragh Hand will portray Michael Holden, the main character from Alice Oseman’s first novel Solitaire, which is set in the same universe as Heartstopper.

Michael is a friend of Charlie Spring’s older sister Tori and is said to be delightfully quirky, optimistic and heart-warming. Many fans are already familiar with the character’s “golden retriever” energy because, in addition to Solitaire, Michael also appears in the Heartstopper graphic novels.

Author Alice Oseman said she was nervous to find someone who would be able to channel Michael, and she was delighted to discover Darragh. She said, “Darragh came along and warmed our hearts, made us all laugh so much, and perfectly complimented Jenny Walser’s Tori Spring. I can’t wait for you to meet Michael in season 3!”

Darragh, who trained at the London College of Music, is currently starring as Marcus Rashford in the play Dear England, a fictionalised account of English football teams. He has previously made television appearances in episodes of Grace and Silent Witness as well as several theatrical performances including London’s For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy, L’amant Anonyme, Bangers, and The Land of Lost Content.


Praised for centring queer joy and acceptance, Netflix’s Heartstopper is adapted from Alice Oseman’s beloved young adult graphic novel. It follows the adorable relationship between Charlie Spring (Joe Locke) and Nick Nelson (Kit Connor) as they navigate school, friendships and queer identities.

The series explores a range of LGBTQ+ themes including bisexuality, transgender relationships and asexuality, and approaches these experiences with the acceptance and sensitivity teenagers deserve. The show also does a great job of representing mental health topics, like Nick’s eating disorder, with care and attention.

Season two left us on a cliffhanger where Nick and Charlie were about to confess their love to each other. Charlie had typed out a text message saying “I love you” but the episode cut away before he sent the text. The first episode of season three is called ‘Love’, and Oseman has shared that the episodes will continue the theme of mental health, but not much more has been revealed about the plot.

Known season three cast members include Charlie (Joe Locke), Nick (Kit Connor), Elle (Yasmin Finney), Tao (William Gao), Isaac (Tobie Donovan), Imogen (Rhea Norwood), Tara (Corinna Brown) Darcy (Kizzy Edgell), and of course, the newly cast Michael (Darragh Hand).


The first two seasons of Heartstopper are now streaming on Netflix!

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