Bedford Wives is a South African comedy–drama television series created by Rethabile Ramaphakela and Katleho Ramaphakela which follows the lives of four Bedfordview women and a community of criminals who, on the surface, exude pristine and perfect lives - but behind closed doors are revealed to have skeletons and secrets.
When her restaurateur husband, Marco Gianoppolous (Jonathan Taylor), is found dead under a side of lamb and dripping in gourmet olive oil, Bedfordview housewife and Mrs South Africa entrant, Despina (Sharon Wagner), vows to keep the family businesses going – but then learns the real family business is crime...
Loyal and loving Dee is the perfect mother, wife, head of the PTA at her kids' school and the envy of all the other mothers in Bedfordview. But just as the former Miss South Africa prepares to get another crown on her head, this time for Mrs South Africa, her husband, Marco, dies. He is murdered in his restaurant's own cold room.
As if this isn't a cold enough reality, Despina also finds herself frozen out of Mrs SA because entrants must have husbands. Now all Despina is, is the one thing she wants desperately not to be – a widow.
Then the will is read. To the horror of Marco's vampish ex-wife Gigi Gianoppolous (Gabriella Cirillo), Marco has left everything to Dee with the instruction to look after everything – and the family.
Dee vows she will uphold Marco's legacy – but soon discovers that the restaurant was mainly a successful front for his criminal activities. She was married to a crime kingpin and never knew it!
Not to mention the fact that whoever killed Marco is still out there and still a threat. Perhaps even worst of all, rival Gigi knew all about the crime business and is an integral part of it.
Gigi wants to take over running it all with her son George (Blaine Shore), but Dee is determined to stop her having any control. If she can't be a Beauty Queen, she can at least be a great Queenpin and support the whole extended family. After all, she owes it to Marco.
Still, it's not easy keeping it all a secret from her bored and bossy best friend Yvette (Shaeleen Tobin), who lives her life vicariously through the glamourous Dee, or her supremely nosy neighbour Paulina Salemane (Sibulele Gcilitshana), who stole Dee's PTA Chairwomanship; all while having to juggle it all against school lifts, yoga lessons and being a mother to her kids.
There's also the small matter of the ruthless rival kingpin who wants to take over her turf, a police detective determined to solve Marco's murder, and an undercover agent obsessed with unravelling the Bedfordview crime web. It seems like every time Despina tries to take a breath, she uncovers a new secret or deception.
Nothing is as it seems...
Bedford Wives was created by Rethabile Ramaphakela and Katleho Ramaphakela and is produced by Burnt Onion Productions. The executive producers are Rethabile Ramaphakela, Katleho Ramaphakela and Tshepo Ramaphakela and the head writers are David Gordon and Julie Hall.
The first episode was written by T.T. Sibisi and directed by Krijay Govender and Beautie Masvaure. The music is by Samkelo Mahlalela.
Season 1 Cast
(scroll to bottom for available actor bios)
Sharon Spiegel-Wagner ... Despina Gianoppolous
Sibulele Gcilitshana ... Paulina Salemane
Gabriella Cirillo ... Gigi Gianoppolous
Shaeleen Tobin ... Yvette de Villiers
Paige Bonnin ... Mikaela Gianoppolous
Tefo Magengenene ... Sello Salemane
Christopher Jaftha ... Robbie September
and Annabel Linder ... Alecto Gianoppolous
and Russel Savadier ... Costa De Maia
Recurring / Guests
Drikus Volschenk ... Jasper de Villiers
Blaine Shore ... George Gianoppolous
Tiffany Barbuzano ... Astrid Hunter-Thomson
Jonathan Taylor ... Marco Gianoppolous
Zak Hendrikz ... James the Yogi
Katleho Ramaphakela ... Detective Dlamini
Mila Guy ... Antoinette de Villiers
Jacob Gordon ... Marco Junior / MJ
Bjorn Bertholdt ... Arno de Villiers
Graytin Pretorius ... Abrie de Villiers
Azwi Malak ... Lerato the Lawyer
Mandy Wiener ... Herself
Rethabile Ramaphakela ... Appfirmation Voice (voice)
Shahir Chundra ... Raj Pillay
Sechaba Morojele ... The Commander
Zane Meas ... Uncle Cecil
Lorcia Cooper ... Lorna Williams
Graham Hopkins ... The Chairman
Conrad Durrell ... CJ Williams