Honour: Who's in the cast? What is the true story behind it? All you need to know about Keeley Hawes' new factual drama

The TV star is back in the police, this time as an detective seeking to make amends for missing the warning signs ahead of a brutal killing in this ITV drama.

By Sophia Moir Published: 28 March 2023 - 7.54am
ITV Honour ITV

By Sophia Moir and Katie Archer

British actress Keeley Hawes is about to launch another must-see TV series – Honour.

The two-part crime drama is inspired by the shocking real-life events of the honour killing of 20-year-old Banaz Mahmod, whose murder was arranged by her own family.

Here’s all you need to know about the police drama, including when it’s on TV, who's in the cast, the tragic true story behind it, and the first reviees from critics...

When is Honour on TV?

Honour will air on ITV on Monday, September 28 and Tuesday, September 29, at 9pm.

You'll be able to catch up on the ITV Hub.

Honour will be the first project made by star Keeley Hawes’ production company, Buddy Club, in association with Hera Pictures.

Is there a trailer?

Yes, you can watch the first-look trailer for Honour featuring Keeley Hawes below:

Who's in the cast of Honour?

Keeley Hawes - DCI Caroline Goode

Keeley Hawes stars as the real-life Detective Chief Inspector Caroline Goode in Honour, the Metropolitan Police detective who vowed that she would not rest until she finally got justice for Banaz. 

Hawes is best known for her roles in Bodyguard, The Missing, Line of Duty and The Durrells, and will also be executive producing on the drama which is being made in association with her production company.

DCI Caroline Goode also worked as a consultant on the show.

The rest of the behind-the-scenes team includes screenwriter Gwyneth Hughes (Vanity Fair, Remember Me), director Richard Laxton (Mrs Wilson, Burton and Taylor), and producer Alliea Nazar.

Honour ITV ITV
Keeley Hawes stars as DCI Caroline Goode in ITV's factual drama, Honour

Buket Komur - Banaz Mahmod

Banaz was an Iraqi-Kurdish woman who was 20 years old at the time she was murdered.

She had come to the UK when she was 10 years old with her family, who were fleeing from the Saddam Hussein regime. They came from a semi-autonomous region in the north of Iraq with a Kurdish regional government.

Banaz attended local schools, and when she was 16 had an arranged marriage to a man who abused her. Banaz later left her husband and came back to live with her family.

DCI Caroline Goode explains: “That, in itself, is viewed as dishonourable conduct and can be justification in its own right for having women killed. Then she started a relationship with another man that the family disapproved of and that really sealed her fate.”

She's played by Buket Komur, a young actress who's just graduated from university. She also has 25k subscribers on her YouTube channel.

Honour producer Alliea Nazar says of Buket's performance: "To play a real life character is nerve-racking for any performer, but to play a person who has been murdered in such tragic circumstances is a responsibility of some magnitude and one Buket shouldered with grace, respect, skill and maturity beyond her years."

Rhianne Barreto - Bekhal Mahmod

Bekhal Mahmod was Banaz's older sister, who had run away from home. Bekhal risked her own life when she chose to stand in the witness box and give evidence against their father.

She's played by Rhianne Barreto, best known for roles in HBO's Share, the Amazon Original, Hanna, as well as Strike Back and Little Boy Blue.

Moe Bar-El - Rahmat Suleimani

Rahmat Suleimani was the late boyfriend of Banaz Mahmod, who reported her missing. His relationship with Banaz was being conducted against the will of her family.

Honour writer Gwyneth Hughes explains of their relationship: "Banaz met and fell in love with Rahmat after leaving her husband. Young men in the community watch the young girls for any infraction of the rules. 

"The young men police the girls and report back to these huge extended families. It is very distressing. Banaz and Rahmat were spotted together and her uncle was told."

Mark Stanley (White House Farm, Sanditon, Game of Thrones) plays DS Andy Craig and Michael Jibson (Quiz, Les Miserables, 1917) plays DS Stuart Reeves - two of the police detectives on Goode's team within the Metropolitan Police.

What is Honour about? What is the true story behind it?

Honour is inspired by the shocking real-life events of the honour killing of Banaz Mahmod.

The 20-year-old Londoner’s murder was arranged by her own family, simply because she fell in love with the wrong man.

ITV’s two-part series will see Keeley play DCI Caroline Goode, the detective who doggedly pursued justice for Banaz in what became a very personal mission.

Goode was appalled that her own force had missed the warning signs when Banaz had reported threats to her life by her own family five times, but had still been killed.

It was Goode and her team who discovered Banaz Mahmod's body in a Birmingham garden in 2006.

She was determined to get justice for Banaz, who was murdered on the orders of her family in an honour killing because she ended a violent and abusive forced marriage and started a relationship with someone of her own choosing.

Her father, uncle and three cousins were later convicted of her murder. Goode also extradited two of the guilty men back from Iraq - something that had never been done before.

Honour Keeley Hawes ITV
Hawes plays the police detective who doggedly pursued justice for the victim

Keeley said: “It is a privilege to be working on Honour as Buddy Club's first ever project. In a time where honour killings are still rife, it is critical to shine a light on such an important subject.

"Banaz Mahmod's story, and DCI Goode’s subsequent investigation, is certainly one that needs to be told and I am proud to be a part of it.”

Gwyneth added: “Banaz Mahmod met her brutish death on the orders of her own father and uncle, which I find profoundly unsettling.

"That this story is ultimately so uplifting is down to the sheer heroism and dedication of the police officers who hunted down her killers. Caroline Goode and her team felt real love for this girl they’d never met. I found their unusual warmth and humanity deeply moving.”

You can watch the full, Emmy award-winning feature-length documentary film about the honour killing of Banaz Mahmod below:

'Harrowing' and 'haunting' - the reviews for Honour are in...

Chitra Ramaswamy from The Guardian gave the show 4 stars, calling it "haunting television" and a "chilling reminder of how society failed to protect a young woman from harm". But, she argued, there "should have been more from [Banaz's sister] Bekhal, who in many ways is the true hero of this story, and Rahmat, the broken boyfriend whose scenes are made all the more tragic by the knowledge that he ended his life a decade later".

The Times' Ben Dowell also gave Honour 4 stars, calling the show "harrowing" and "an unstoppable moral force against dishonour".

Flora Carr from RadioTimes.com gave the factual drama 3 stars, calling it "heart-rending" and praising Hawes' performance but arguing that viewers didn't see enough of Banaz's Kurdish community and the "sexist, oppressive atmosphere" that led to her murder.

The Telegraph's Anita Singh had a similar viewpoint, also giving the show 3 stars but saying she wished viewers saw more of Banaz's personality so we could learn more about who she was. But, she praised the show for "not shying away from the cultural issues at the heart of the case" and for shining a light on both "the failures to save Banaz and on the shocking subjugation of women within some immigrant communities".

Watch Honour if you liked...

Des, A Confession, The Bay, Murdered by My Boyfriend, Killed by My Debt, Unbelievable, Mrs Wilson, Little Boy Blue, Murdered by My Father.


Honour continues Tuesday, September 29 at 9pm on ITV.