Since it aired on Netflix in 2019, Sex Education has become one of the streamer’s most beloved shows, praised for its honest depictions of sex, relationships, sexuality and gender, amongst other dense yet essential topics. Appealing to teens and adults alike, the comedy has amassed multiple awards, such as ‘Best Comedy Series’ at the International Emmy Awards.
Much of the show’s appeal comes from its loveable and unique characters that comprise the ensemble cast, from Aimee Lou Wood’s ditzy yet caring Aimee to Emma Mackey’s smart yet cynical Maeve. However, with the show’s fourth series expected to arrive later this year, many fans will be disappointed to find out that certain core cast members will not be returning.
Fans will be pleased to know that Mackey will return as Maeve, although the actor has revealed that she will not be reprising the role after this season if another one is given the green light. When Radio Times asked her if she’d return for a fifth season, she declared, “Season 5? I’ve just finished the fourth one last week! No I don’t think I’ll be in season 5. I’ve said goodbye to Maeve.” According to the actor, she will not be appearing in series four as regularly as she has done in previous seasons.
Moreover, Ncuti Gatwa is set to leave the show after season four, following the announcement that he’ll be undertaking the role of the 15th Doctor Who. His portrayal of the loveable Eric in Sex Education made him one of the show’s most popular characters, and it’s hard to imagine a fifth season without him. Taking to Instagram on the last day of shooting, he posted a picture of his trailer door with the caption, “Last day. Last time. Bye bubs, thank you for all the lessons and for all the strength.”
However, Simone Ashley’s popular girl Olivia will not be returning at all for series four, asserting on This Morning that she’s “a Bridgerton girl now.” Tanya Reynolds, who played the oddball alien-obsessed Lily, told Radio Times she won’t return for season four. “It’s just the natural progression of these shows. When you have such big ensemble casts and so many characters, I think you have to let a few older characters go to make way for newer ones, which is absolutely the right thing, the way it should happen.”
Patricia Allison, whose character Ola begins dating Lily following her breakup with Otis, won’t return either. Talking to Capital XTRA, she explained, “I absolutely have loved being on Sex Education so so much and playing Ola, but unfortunately, I won’t be joining the team for season four. So sorry to have to break that to you guys.”
Moordale Secondary School’s English teacher Emily Sands, played by Rakhee Thakra, will also be absent from the series, although she cannot state why.