Matt Willis smiling and Michelle Keegan inset

Matt Willis set to follow in Michelle Keegan’s footsteps in new Harlan Coben Netflix drama

First Love is Blind: UK, now a new drama - Netflix loves Matt Willis!

Matt Willis is the next big British name to star in a new Netflix drama.

The musician will star alongside James Nesbitt, Lenny Henry and Ashley Walters in the Harlan Coben adaptation.

He follows in the footsteps of former soap star Michelle Keegan, who starred in Fool Me Once last year.

Matt Willis performing onstage with arms outstretched and guitar hanging from strap
This is just the latest of musician Matt’s big TV roles (Credit: Mark Cavill/Cover Images)

Matt Willis to star in new Netflix drama

Matt Willis will star as Darryl in Missing You, the latest product of the Netflix and Harlan Coben partnership.

Missing You is an adaptation of Harlan’s 2014 book of the same name. The story follows Detective Kat Donovan, whose fiancé Josh completely vanished 11 years ago. When she sees him on a dating app, she’s absolutely flabbergasted.

Slow Horses star Rosalind Eleazar will portray Kat Donovan, heading up an impressive cast. James Nesbitt, Lenny Henry, Jessica Plummer, Steve Pemberton and Samantha Spiro will also star.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Harlan Coben drama without Richard Armitage – and he also has a major role.

And, in keeping with previous Harlan Coben adaptations, Missing You will relocate the story from the US to the UK. Filming has now started around Manchester and the North West of England. Fan can look forward to watching five 60-minute episodes when it’s released next year.

Matt Willis smiling alongside wife Emma Willis, both wearing black
Matt is the latest big name attached to the high-profile Netflix project (Credit: John Rainford/Cover Images)

Busted star Matt is Netflix’s new golden boy

Matt Willis rose to fame in the early noughties in the pop punk band Busted. Despite only releasing two albums, the band had multiple number one singles and left a permanent impact on the millennial music landscape.

The star had a brief solo music career before appearing on I’m a Celebrity…. He won the sixth series in 2006 and later hosted its spin-off series. He also took other presenting gigs for ITV2 and E!.

Matt made a transition into acting with several stints on the West End from 2010, including playing Nick in Flashdance and Fiyero in Wicked. He also portrayed Orin Scrivello in Little Shop of Horrors.

For television, he appeared in the reboot of Birds of a Feather in 2014, and that same year also portrayed Stacey Slater’s boyfriend Luke in EastEnders.

In 2023, Matt released the candid documentary about his experiences with substance use. The acclaimed Matt Willis: Fighting Addiction aired on BBC One.

Matt married presenter Emma in 2008 and the pair have three children together. They were recently announced to be co-presenters on the reality series Love Is Blind: UK, due to premiere on Netflix in August.

Missing You will air on Netflix in 2025.

Read more: Why Matt Willis has ‘never made amends’ with wife Emma after his last relapse: ‘I was the mastermind at gaslighting’

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Susan Brett
TV Writer