Anatomy of a Scandal star Hannah Dodd will play Francesca in the upcoming third series of the hit Netflix period drama, Bridgerton.

The actress will take over from Ruby Stokes who left during the second season to star in another Netflix series, Lockwood and Co.

The hit show, based on a series of books of the same name by Julia Quinn, follows eight siblings of the Bridgerton family as they attempt to find love.

Dodd is set to take on the role of mysterious Bridgerton sibling Francesca, who "despite her reserved nature" tends to "draw attention when she least desires it," Netflix has said.

The character has had fleeting appearances in the first two seasons of the show, which follows Regency-era London, but is expected to take a more central role in the upcoming series.

Bridgerton became the most-watched show on Netflix when it was released on Christmas Day 2020, thanks to its risqué scenes and opulent costumes and sets.

At the time, the streaming giant said the show was viewed by a record 82 million households in 28 days.

The first season followed the development of a steamy romance between Daphne Bridgerton, played by Phoebe Dynevor, and Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings, played by Regé-Jean Page.

Bridgerton's second series focused on the tumultuous courtship between Anthony Bridgerton, played by Jonathan Bailey, and Simone Ashley's character, Kate.

The series will return to production this summer.

Source: Press Association

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