Media release: Douglas Henshall to depart BBC drama Shetland, as the award-winning murder mystery returns for a seventh series


ACTOR, Douglas Henshall, will make his final appearance as DI Jimmy Perez in the BBC’s acclaimed murder mystery drama, Shetland, it has been announced.

Henshall will leave Shetland at the end of its seventh series, which begins this August on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

A Silverprint Pictures production, Shetland will return for an eighth series in 2023, with a new lead and further casting to be announced in due course.

Henshall debuted the role of DI Perez on BBC One in 2013 in the first TV adaptation of the award-winning novels by crime writer, Ann Cleeves. However, after nine years in the role, Henshall has made the decision to depart Shetland to explore other acting opportunities.

Douglas Henshall says: “After series 5 of Shetland, David Kane and I decided we wanted to do two more series to complete the story of Jimmy Perez.

“So series 6 and 7 were commissioned together to give us time to wrap up Perez story to a satisfactory end. It’s been one of the privileges of my career to play Jimmy Perez for almost ten years and to work with so many wonderful people both in front of and behind the camera, and also to spend so much time in Shetland.

“The Isles were so much a part of our show and of Perez himself. I’ll miss him and the place. I wish everyone involved much luck with whatever happens next.”

Douglas Henshall’s last outing as DI Perez features in a thrilling new six-part series of Shetland which sees the team investigate the mysterious disappearance of a vulnerable young man. The investigation draws Perez into the secret past of a family new to Shetland, revealing an unimaginable threat to the community.

Written by David Kane, Paul Logue and Denise Paul, the seventh series features guest stars Shauna Macdonald (The Cry, The Descent), Laurie Brett (Waterloo Road, EastEnders), Patrik Robinson (Death in Paradise, Casualty), Andrew Whipp (Vera, The Mallorca Files), Stuart McQuarrie (Elizabeth Is Missing, The Crown), Ladi Emeruwa (Riveria, Humans), Lauren Conroy (Rent, 9 to 5), Nick Nunn (The Victim, Clique) and Sorcha Groundsell (Grantchester, The Innocents, Clique).

Series regulars are Alison O’Donnell (Tosh), Steven Robertson (Sandy), Mark Bonnar (Duncan), Anne Kidd (Cora), Lewis Howden (Sgt Billy McCabe), Erin Armstrong (Cassie), Angus Miller (Donnie) and Anneika Rose (Maggie Kean). Series 7 of Shetland also sees the return of Julie Graham as Procutar Fiscal, Rhona Kelly.

Gaynor Holmes, executive producer for BBC Drama, says: “It has been an absolute privilege to work on Shetland over the past few years and watch the show go from strength to strength – in no small part thanks to Douglas’s sensitive, intelligent and memorable portrayal of DI Jimmy Perez. We will miss him enormously but he leaves the show in rude health and we’re extremely excited about the plans we have for bringing more of this much loved drama to audiences far and wide.”

Kate Bartlett, executive producer, Silverprint Pictures, adds: “It has been amazing to have the opportunity to complete the story of Jimmy Perez and Douglas Henshall is outstanding in the role.  We had an incredible Scottish cast and crew and David Kane has created a distinctive and emotionally complex story that unfolds against the stunning, evocative landscapes of Shetland. I’m very proud of this series and excited for the new series to come.”

Shetland Series 7 was commissioned by Piers Wenger, former director of BBC Drama and produced by Louise V Say (Dracula, Les Miserables). The executive producers are Gaynor Holmes for the BBC, Kate Bartlett and Denise Paul for Silverprint Pictures and David Kane.

Series 8 of Shetland will start filming from spring 2023 in locations on the Shetland Isles and across Scotland. Casting for this new series will be announced in the coming months.


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