Emma Mackey, the undisputed star of Netflix’s Sex Education, has revealed that she’ll be leaving the show. The upcoming fourth series of the much-loved teen dramedy will, it turns out, be the actor’s last. Mackey has portrayed Maeve Wiley since the show’s first season aired in 2010. She has since starred in feature-length projects such as Death On The Nile, Emily and 2021’s Eiffel.
That same year, Sex Education’s third season aired on Netflix. A fourth season was confirmed shortly after and began filming back in August, at which point the cast welcomed Schitt’s Creek actor Dan Levy (Maeve’s college tutor Mr Molloy) into the fold.
In an interview with The Radio Times at the 2023 BAFTAs, Mackey confirmed that she’s finished filming season four and that she won’t be returning for the still unconfirmed fifth season. “Season five? I’ve just finished the fourth one last week!” she laughed. “No, I don’t think I’ll be in season five. I’ve said goodbye to Maeve.”
Maeve’s departure isn’t a total surprise. Mackey’s character is to have a much smaller role in this fourth season, with the actor informing The Radio Times that she’s “not in [season four] as consistently” as other seasons. “But we’re in the middle of filming now, and I’m excited to be back,” she went on. “And yeah, I’m intrigued to know what’s going to happen – because I also don’t know. I’m also finding out as we go along, so it’ll be fun.”
Mackey isn’t the only core cast member leaving after the fourth season. Ncuti Gatwa (Eric Effiong), for example, is off to play the 15th Doctor in the new series of Doctor Who. “Last day. Last time. Bye bubs, thank you for all the lessons and for all the strength,” Gatwa wrote in a post announcing his departure. Onwards and upwards, as they say.