TV preview: The Wrong Mans

James Corden and Matthew Baynton return in the second series of The Wrong Mans this Christmas.

Having earned their status as home-town heroes in the first series, the pair are blasted back to zero again. Now 4,000 miles from home, Phil (Corden) is relishing the opportunity to reinvent himself but Sam (Baynton) pines for his old life.

When the pair receive some distressing news from back home, they are forced to make a difficult choice: hide in the shadows and be forgotten forever or brave it in a world that doesn’t even know they are alive in order to get home to Bracknell in time for Christmas and reclaim their lives. First there’s just the small issue of busting out of a high-security Texan jail.

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Baynton and Corden, the show’s creators, are joined by a stellar cast that includes Anastasia Griffith (Damages) as Miller, an ambitious DEA special agent on the trail of Mexican drug kingpin Carlos Espinosa, portrayed by Raoul Trujillo (Apocalypto) alongside John Ross Bowie (Big Bang Theory, Curb Your Enthusiasm) as his unscrupulous attorney Kinsmann. Olivier Award-winner Bertie Carvel (Matilda, Doctor Who, Sherlock) stars in the role of Nathan Cross, an unpredictable white supremacist with a secret, and Ray Panthaki (EastEnders, 28 Days Later, Kidulthood) plays Khalil, who enlists Sam and Phil to help him bring down a terrorist gang.

Other guest stars include Samantha Spiro (Bad Education, Grandma’s House) and Trevor Cooper (Happy Go Lucky, Holby City).

Corden said: “It is a real treat to be on over Christmas, I love it; it’s a privilege and an honour to be on the BBC at Christmas time.

“After all the thrills and highs of The Wrong Mans series one, you get a greater sense of heart for this series, and I think that comes from the feeling of Christmas and the warm feeling you get when you watch Christmas TV.”

More than three million tuned into watch the very first episode, making it the most successful debut of a comedy since Extras eight years earlier and Baynton and Corden, along with Tom Basden, won a 2013 Royal Television Society Award for Best Writer of a Comedy.

Baynton added: “We were writing The Wrong Mans before we knew it was going to air over Christmas, it’s a homecoming story with the added air of Christmas magic!”

Mark Freeland, executive producer and controller, fiction & entertainment, BBC Production said: “The clock has been ticking under Phil and Sam’s car since the end of series one.

“It’s so exciting that at Christmas on BBC Two it’s time to find out what happens to our unintentional heroes when the ticking stops. Talk about starting the second series with a bang.”

The Wrong Mans, BBC2, Monday, 9pm