The BBC initially commissioned Season 1 of The Cleaner in August 2020, during what felt like a never-ending pandemic. The show's premise was inspired by the times, starring a guy in the hazmat suit whose job was to come in and clean and disinfect various locations after the murder had been committed. Based loosely on the popular German comedy Crime Scene Cleaner (Der Tatortreiniger), which ran six seasons from 2011 to 2018, the new series was pitched by Greg Davies (The Inbetweeners), who wrote the first season six episodes run, casting himself as the titular Cleaner, Paul Wickstead, known to his friends as Wicky.
The show's premiere is a mystery of the week series, told from the view of the guy brought in to clean up the mess. Each week, he'd deal with a variety of characters, played by high-end guest stars such as Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown), Layton Williams (I Hate Suzie), Georgie Glen (Call The Midwife), Donald Sumpter (Game of Thrones), Ruth Madeley (Years and Years), and Stephanie Cole (Doc Martin). Over the course of his clean-up, Wicky would figure out whodunit and then call his BFF, PS Ruth Edward (Zita Sattar), to make the arrest. The series proved so popular that it landed a 2022 Christmas special along with a second season renewal, and if the guest cast is anything to go by, this could be a show that runs for a long time.
The BBC released two first-look photos along with the extensive guest cast list for Season 2 in February 2023.
Here’s the series’ Season 2 synopsis:
The Cleaner follows Paul ‘Wicky’ Wickstead on more of his eventful cleaning jobs. Armed again with his chemicals, scrubbing brushes, and cleaning rags, Wicky removes more gruesome remains at the scenes of new crimes, including in a theatre, an electrical goods store, and a stately home. It is here he meets some more unusual characters and gets sucked into their worlds as he can’t help but gossip as he cleans, all the while trying to get down to the pub.
Davies and Sattar return for Season 2 at Wicky and PS Ruth Edwards. As for that guest cast list, Season 2 will feature legends like Zoë Wanamaker (Agatha Christie’s Poirot), Harriet Walter (Killing Eve), Simon Callow (Four Weddings & a Funeral), Susannah Fielding (Death on the Nile), and Louis Emerick (The Outlaws). Other guest stars fans will recognize include Asim Chaudhry (The Sandman), John MacMillan (House of the Dragon), Alex Lawther (Andor), Roisin Conaty (After Life), Mark Lewis Jones (Outlander), Rudi Dharmalingam (The Lazarus Project), Joshua McCord (Poldark), Amy Morgan (Mr. Selfridge), and Charlie Rawes (Ted Lasso).
There are even a few newcomers like Jemma Carlton (Maxine) and Rebecca Lee (The B@it), and stunt cast like musician/composer Shakin’ Stevens (Ashes to Ashes) and child star Cassius Thompson (Mia’s Magic Playground). In short, there’s something for everyone in this coming season and many reasons to watch.
The Cleaner Season 2 does not yet have a release date, but most assume it will arrive before the end of 2023 on both the BBC and BritBox.