Is Nicola Coughlan Leaving Bridgerton After 4 Seasons?

Is Nicola Coughlan Leaving Bridgerton After 4 Seasons?
Image credit: Netflix

Will Pen attend the other Bridgerton weddings?


  • In May, it was announced that Nicola Coughlan would appear in Bridgerton Season 4.
  • However, her appearance in Season 5 and beyond is not confirmed.
  • It all depends on who the seasons are dedicated to and the actress' commitment.

While Bridgerton's third season didn't satisfy all fans, few could resist the electric chemistry of Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton, who have played the incomparable Penelope and Colin for three seasons running. And it's what has kept the show's ratings at an all-time high, surpassing the previous two seasons and instantly securing Bridgerton's next adaptations of the Julia Quinn novels for years to come.

Each novel and each season of the series focuses on a different member of the Bridgerton family, but their story arcs often unfold long before their own time in the spotlight. So when one of the siblings' love stories reaches a happy ending, both the books and the show shift the focus away from them to explore the rest of the characters.

In other words, dear friends, while everyone's favorite Penelope will still appear in Season 4, there's absolutely no guarantee that she'll be around beyond that.

Which Bridgerton Is Going to Be the Focus of Season 4?

So far, we have five more seasons ahead of us that should adapt the respective Bridgerton stories from Julia Quinn's books:

  • An Offer from a Gentleman — The third novel in a series, dedicated to Benedict
  • To Sir Phillip, With Love — The fifth novel, dedicated to Eloise
  • When He Was Wicked — The sixth novel, dedicated to Francesca
  • It's In His Kiss — The seventh novel, dedicated to Hyacinth
  • On the Way to the Wedding — The eighth novel, dedicated to Gregory

After the events of the second part of Season 3, we should expect a story revolving around either Benedict (Luke Thompson), Eloise (Claudia Jessie) or Francesca (Hannah Dodd).

However, several years must pass before Francesca finds the love of her life in Michaela Stirling (Masali Baduza), the cousin of her current partner John (Victor Alli).

However, it's far from certain that the writing team led by Jess Brownell will decide to focus on Benedict next time. It was recently reported that Netflix is looking for an East Asian actress between the ages of 24 and 30 to play a character named 'Emily,' which could be a code name for Sophie Beckett, Ben's future wife. Except that the role is labeled 'recurring' rather than 'main,' as was the case with the Bridgertons' other love interests. So it's quite possible that Season 4 will continue Ben's storyline, but his major development won't happen until Season 5.

Does This Mean Nicola Coughlan Will Be Leaving?

While Netflix and Shondaland have no intention of dropping Julie Andrews as the narrator, aka the voice of Lady Whistledown, in future seasons, Penelope, played by Nicola Coughlan, is becoming less and less expected. In May 2024 it was announced that both Coughlan and Newton will appear in Season 4. And if it's going to be about Eloise's story, it makes perfect sense, since her best friend and brother, with whom she has a much smaller age gap than with Anthony and Ben, can't help but be present at important moments in her life, including her wedding to Sir Phillip Crane (Chris Fulton).

However, if the focus next season is specifically on Ben, there's much less chance of Penelope's presence in Season 5, even if it's dedicated to Eloise. After all, there was a similar precedent in Season 3 when Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) did not attend either Colin and Pen's wedding or Francesca and John's.

Of course, the actress' commitment to the show should not be overlooked, and much of Pen's involvement in future seasons depends on Nicola Coughlan's availability and enthusiasm. Besides, Bridgerton's fourth season isn't due until 2026, so things could change in the meantime.

Are you interested in seeing Penelope in Season 5 and beyond?