Sex education season 3 cast: release date and who stars in the Netflix show with Mimi Keene and Jemima Kirke?

Season three will not start where season two left off, with cast member Asa Butterfield warning viewers: ‘you lot aren’t ready for season 3, trust me’

A new series of Netflix’s hit show Sex Education is out, and finally we can get back inside the walls of Moordale High.

From relatable characters to straight-talking conversations and well scripted storylines, the British comedy-drama has drummed up a huge fan base since it first hit our screens in January 2019.

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So, when is the third season released and will the usual faces, such as Otis, Maeve and Ruby be returning? This is what you need to know.

When is Sex Education season three out on Netflix?

The wait is over, Sex Education returns for another season on 17 September.

All eight episodes of series three are available to stream on Netflix UK from 8am.

Who is in the cast of Sex Education season 3?

The main characters are all expected to make a return, including lead character Otis (Asa Butterfield), who this season will shake off his awkwardness and according to the synopsis, is “having casual sex.” It’s not expected to be with Maeve, following the heart-wrenching scenes of last season.

Otis and Ruby are exploring different sides to themselves throughout season 3 (Picture: Netflix)

The trailer also shows him holding hands with Ruby, who he had sex with last season, but are they together?

Maeve (Emma Mackey), is back and leaving Otis feeling ignored - viewers will remember he left THAT voicemail at the end of last season and Isaac deleted it. While Maeve is none the wiser about any such message, Otis thinks she has heard it and isn’t into him.

Maeve continues to struggle with her relationships - she tries to patch things up with her mum and Otis (Picture: Netflix)

She doesn’t have time to worry about that though, as she is trying to patch up a broken relationship with her mum (Anne-Marie Duff), who she phoned social services on at the end of season two.

Otis’ mum Jean (Gillian Anderson), is pregnant and struggling to navigate single-motherhood and the relationship with her teenage son. She and Jakob have split and she faces new struggles this series.

Gillian is pregnant and struggling separated from Jakob (Picture: Netflix)

“Jean is pregnant and she’s still pregnant when we find her again. And so we see that Jean is trying to negotiate how to deal with that in relation to Jakob and also Otis,” Anderson told Collider.

Jakob (Mikael Persbrandt) and Ola (Patricia Allison) are back, with Jakob attempting to understand the breakdown of his relationship with Jean. Meanwhile, Ola realises she doesn’t have feeling for Otis anymore, she has feelings for her friend Lily.

Lily and Ola get together in season 3 (Picture: Netflix)

Popular girl Ruby (Mimi Keene), will also show a different side to herself this series, which Keene said ahead of premiere is “very different from what people will be expecting”.

“She is essentially a young carer, which is, again, I think a really important thing to show because it’s a lot more common than people know,” Keene revealed.

She’ll be joined in the cool crew by Olivia (Simone Ashley) and Anwar (Chaneil Kular) for another season of making everyone else feel sub-par.

Aimee continues to struggle with her feelings of self esteem and worth after being sexually assaulted (Picture: Netflix)

Aimee (Aimee Lou Wood) returns to Moordale following her sexual assault, which viewers can expect to learn more about. Aimee will explore how she feels in the aftermath of the situation.

Wood said of this season: “Aimee’s storyline in season two, it’s continued, [and] it’s handled beautifully throughout season three as well.”

Jackson (Kedar Williams-Stirling) and Adam (Connor Swindells) are also significant characters in season three, Adam has been the long-serving bully of Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) but the pair are now a couple, after Adam dropped his guard and announced his love for Eric in season two.

Gatwa told a BAFTA Q&A: BAFTA Q&A. “Eric returns back to his culture a lot more and I think those scenes were very special.

“Just kind of having a set where the majority of people were Black was really great and really powerful and representing Eric’s culture and his family, those are always very quite profound moments.”

Eric explores more of his culture in season 3 (Picture: Netflix)

Eric’s ex Rahim (Sami Outalbali) is also back, as is Viv (Chinenye Ezeudu) and Isaac (George Robinson) - who could be found out for his jealous voicemail-deleting ways.

But, that’s not all - three more actors will also be joining the gang at Moordale High, in leading roles.

Girls actress Jemima Kirke is set to take centre stage as former Moordale student and new headmistress, Hope. The actress recently found herself making headlines after critiquing a number of celebrities’ Met Gala styles.

Lucius Malfoy has left Hogwarts and headed for Moordale, while Jason Isaacs plays Peter Groff, Mr Groff’s more successful and confident older brother. Mr Groff will move in with his brother in season three, following the breakdown of his marriage.

Recording artist and songwriter, Dua Saleh, will also make their acting debut as Cal, a nonbinary student at Moordale, who instantly clashes with Hope’s new vision for the school.

Mr Groff (Alistair Petrie), Maureen (Samantha Spiro), Miss Sands (Rakhee Thakrar) and Mr Hendricks (Jim Howick) are all back, attempting to straighten out Moordale’s reputation and support the pupils through their next year of school.

What happened at the end of Sex Education season 2?

*Spoiler alert*

Sex Education season two started with Otis and his newly developed masturbation addiction and lust for girlfriend Ola. The only awkward issue - his mum was dating Ola’s dad.

Otis loses his virginity to Ruby, one of the older, popular students. He also finds out Maeve likes him, like LIKES him.

By the end of the series, he’s knocked lust for love and wants Maeve but not everyone is happy about it. Isaac has feelings for Maeve too and when Otis leaves her a heartfelt voicemail declaring his love for her, Isaac deletes it before she can hear it.

Fans are desperate to know whether Maeve and Otis will finally get together, but Sex Education is never that straightforward.

The show isn’t all teen romance and getting it on when your mum isn’t home from work yet, with the storyline also tackling a number of important issues.

Aimee was sexually assaulted and struggled to come to terms with the incident, while Otis’ best friend Eric continues to grow in confidence as he explores his sexuality.

What is the storyline for season 3?

There has been little in the way of hints about season three, but the cast have matured quite a bit since season two was filmed in 2019, so they will not pick up where they left off.

The official synopsis says: “It’s a new year, Otis is having casual sex, Eric and Adam are official, and Jean has a baby on the way. Meanwhile, new headteacher Hope tries to return Moordale to a pillar of excellence, Aimee discovers feminism, Jackson gets a crush and a lost voicemail still looms. Prepare for commitment animals, alien phenomena, vulva cupcakes and much more of Madam Groff.”

In a recent interview, Asa Butterfield told the Guardian: "There’s been a bit of a time-jump since the season two cliffhanger.

"Otis is back at school but he’s got different things on his plate. He’s grown up a bit and become slightly more sassy. It’s been fun to portray his newfound charisma. Don’t worry, though, he’s still tragically awkward too.

"We got snapped by paparazzi while filming and people have been freaking out about Otis having a moustache. I can exclusively reveal it’s not real.

"It’s a stunt ‘tache and thankfully it doesn’t last the whole season. I don’t think anyone could bear looking at that thing for long."

Mackey, aka Maeve, also recently told Hunger magazine that she will not be in Sex Education for much longer.

“I genuinely care about them all a lot and I made lifelong friends. But the bittersweet nature of it is that I also can’t be 17 my whole life,” she said.

Let’s hope she’s in it long enough to give Otis another chance at telling her how he feels.

Season three sees former pupil Hope appointed as head teacher, as a chlamydia outbreak drags down the school’s reputation.

Among the sex, scandal and hilarity, the series continues to offer an open dialogue about sex, sexualisation, gender and empowerment.