Heartstopper creator Alice Oseman has opened up about Olivia Colman’s heartbreaking absence from season three.

Spoilers ahead

Back in 2022, Colman surprised fans worldwide when she appeared as Nick Nelson’s (Kit Connor) mother, Sarah Nelson, in the inaugural season of the coming-of-age series. 

The following year, the Academy Award winner and her acting prowess returned for the show’s critically acclaimed sophomore season.

Unfortunately, Colman and her fan-favourite character will not appear in Heartstopper’s highly anticipated third season. 

The Fleabag star revealed the disappointing news during her recent interview with Forbes, telling the news outlet: “I couldn’t do number three. I couldn’t fit it in.

“I feel awful about that. I feel like I was part of one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever been a part of.” 

Toward the end of her statement, the Beautiful People star said that she would be open to returning for Heartstopper season four. 

“I’ll have a word. As long as it’s booked in advance, maybe I’ll be able to do it,” she added. 

Of course, fans have not taken the news well, with many flocking to social media to express their disappointment.

One X, formerly known as Twitter, user wrote: “OLIVIA COLMAN NOT RETURNING FOR SEASON 3 OF HEARTSTOPPER??? This is the worst day of my life.” 

Another fan tweeted: “I knew it! When I saw that she was not in Mallorca I knew that Olivia Colman was not going to be in Heartstopper S3, I sensed it.” 

A third person added: “I feel sick to my stomach WHY GOD WHYYYYY I needed her.” 

In response to fans, Heartstopper creator Oseman took to Instagram to give further insight into the sad news. 

“As many of you have heard today, the wonderful Olivia Colman will not be returning to the show for season three. We tried absolutely everything we could, but it wasn’t meant to be, and that’s just the way the TV world works sometimes,” they explained via their Instagram story. 

“We are so deeply grateful to Olivia for the stunning performance she gave to the show and wish her the absolute best!”

After confirming that Colman’s character would not be recast, they addressed fan concerns regarding Nick’s story and how it would play out without Sarah.


In the webcomic on which season three is based, the two characters share an array of heartwarming moments, including one fan-favourite scene in Mallorca. 

“I know there is one scene in particular that many of you have been looking forward to in season 3, and you may be feeling disappointed and disheartened with us. I totally understand—I was really worried too when I first found out,” Oseman added. 

“If there’s one thing I could ask of you, it’s not to give up on us quite yet. I have done everything in my power to preserve that scene as written in the comic, and I’ve written in some new elements of the story to ensure that it gives us the emotional punch that it give in the comic. And for the rest of the season – please have faith.” 

While the Solitare author expressed thier sadness over Colman’s absence, they shared their hope for The Lost Daughter star to return for Heartstopper season four, should the show be renewed. 

Heartstopper season three is set to premiere in October 2024. For more information, click here.