Netflix Series Loses Another Cast Member Amid Recent Cast Exodus

Another Sex Education star is leaving the hit Netflix series. Rakhee Thakrar, who plays teacher Emily Sands, will not be back for the show's upcoming fourth season. She is the fourth cast member leaving, following Tanya Reynolds, Patricia Allison, and Bridgerton's Simone Ashley.

"I'm not part of the new series. I can't really talk about why," Thakrar told The Daily Star Sunday, via Radio Times. "But I'm so proud of the show and grateful to have been part of something so important. There is nothing bad about Sex Education."

(Photo: Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)

Thakrar recurred during the first two seasons of Sex Education before she was promoted to a main cast member for Season 3. She also played Shabnam Masood on EastEnders and Fatima on Hulu's Four Weddings and a Funeral limited series. She has a role in Warner Bros.' upcoming Willy Wonka prequel movie Wonka.

Reynolds, who played fan-favorite character Lily Iglehart on the first three seasons of Sex Education, told Radio Times last month she will not be in the new season. She described leaving the show as "just the natural progression of these shows" and said it was "sad, very sad" to leave. "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," Reynolds said.

Days before Reynolds announced her departure, Allison, who plays Ola Nyman, told Breakfast with Yinka and Shayna Marie she was leaving. "I absolutely have loved being on Sex Education so, so much... but unfortunately, I won't be joining the team for Season 4," Allison said. "Some other opportunities have come up. I've been doing it for three years, and I've genuinely loved it."

Allison said it was "absolutely" difficult to leave. "I guess I have to say goodbye at some time, which is kind of sad, but other things are coming," she added. Allison recently joined a Western, Paradise, featuring MacGyver's Tate Donovan.

Sex Education was created by Laurie Nunn and stars Asa Butterfield as Otis Milburn. At the start of the series, Otis and Meave Wiley, played by Emma Mackey, plot to run a sex therapy clinic at their school, using the knowledge Otis picked up from his mother, sex therapist Jean Milburn (Gillian Anderson). The show features an expansive ensemble cast, including Ncuti Gatwa, Connor Swindells, Kedar Willaims-Stirling, Alistair Petrie, Mimi Keene, Aimee Lou Wood, Chaneil Kular, Mikael Persbrandt, Anne-Marie Duff, and Jemima Kirke. The show has won critical acclaim, and Wood won a BAFTA Award for Female Performance in a Comedy in 2021.

Sex Education has also been a big hit with Netflix subscribers. The streamer even renewed the show for a fourth season the week after Season 3 debuted in September. Gatwa was recently cast as the Fourteenth Doctor on Doctor Who, replacing the outgoing Jodie Whittaker