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Arts / Guest cast announced as filming continues for new series of Shetland

Longstanding cast member Alison O'Donnell pictured alongside new lead Ashley Jensen whilst filming in Shetland. Photo: BBC

GUEST cast members have been announced for the upcoming new series of BBC crime drama Shetland as filming continues in the isles.

Filming began earlier this week and has so far mainly featured Scalloway and surrounding areas.

The upcoming eighth series is due to air later this year and feature Ashley Jensen (Mayflies, After Life) in the lead role following the departure of Douglas Henshall.

Guest cast members for the eighth series are Phyllis Logan (Guilt, Downtown Abbey), Jamie Sives (Guilt, Annika), Dawn Steele (Holby City, Granite Harbour), Don Gilet (EastEnders, Sherwood), Ann Louise Ross (River City, Katie Morag) and Lorraine McIntosh (Outlander, My Name is Joe).

They will star alongside series regulars including Steven Robertson (playing DC Sandy Wilson), Lewis Howden (Sgt Billy McCabe), Anne Kidd (Cora McLean), Angus Miller (Donnie), Conor McCarry (PC Alex Grant) and Eubha Akilade (PC Lorna Burns).

Originally based on award-winning novels by crime writer Ann Cleeves, the new series sees Met Police Detective Inspector Ruth Calder (Jensen) return to her native Shetland to retrieve the vulnerable witness to a gangland murder.

Tosh (O’Donnell) must pause her investigation into a string of mysterious animal deaths to help DI Ruth Calder find the witness before it is too late.

However, Calder’s hostility to Shetland will challenge Tosh’s view of her adopted home and their journey into the darker recesses of Shetland’s past and present will test this fragile, new partnership.

BBC commissioning editor Gaynor Holmes said: “We couldn’t be more delighted to see Shetland return with such a stellar cast and a brand new, taut and thrilling murder mystery to keep audiences on the edge of their seats.

“We’re very excited to see the show embark on this fantastic new chapter, with its unique blend of haunting atmosphere, rich character and emotional storytelling.”

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Kate Bartlett, executive producer for Silverprint Pictures, added: “We’re so excited about this new series of Shetland with Ashley and Alison and all our wonderful returning and guest cast.

“Paul Logue has created a distinctive and emotionally complex story, set against the stunning and evocative landscape of the Shetland Isles. We’re thrilled to be making this new series with such incredible Scottish talent.”

The last series averaged 7.2 million viewers across its run (30-day all-screens figure).

Paul Logue is the lead writer of the new series of Shetland, alongside Denise Paul and Vivienne Harvey. The series is produced by Louise V Say and directed by Andy Newbery and Giulia Gandini.

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