Line Of Duty actor Adrian Dunbar will take on a new policing role in detective drama Ridley for ITV.
The TV star is best known for his tireless pursuit of “bent coppers” as Superintendent Ted Hastings in the BBC’s police corruption drama.
Dunbar will play charismatic Detective Inspector Alex Ridley in the new ITV series, which is written and created by Paul Matthew Thompson – one of the lead writers of another detective drama, Vera – and co-created by Jonathan Fisher, whose previous projects include Blood, Hollington Drive and Penance.
In the show Ridley is retiring from the police following 25 years as a homicide investigator, after being nudged out of the job he loves, and the prospect of retirement is not a welcome one.
His replacement is his former protegee, Acting Detective Inspector Carol Farman, who enlists him as a consultant on a complex murder case which takes a dark and unexpected turn.
The series is inspired by real-life retired detectives rejoining police forces in consultancy roles amid over-stretched resources, ITV said.
Dunbar said: “I don’t think I’ve ever headed into a production with more excitement and enthusiasm.
“As an actor I know how rare it is to be given such a wonderful opportunity, and the combination of Polly Hill and Chloe Tucker at ITV and Jonathan Fisher at West Road Pictures means we are in both safe and creative hands.
“Jonathan and I worked closely together on the very successful series Blood, and I’m confident we can bring some of that magic to Ridley. Here’s to getting the team together and developing a show that audiences can find both entertaining and engaging.”
Thompson added: “I am thrilled to be working with Jonathan Fisher and West Road Pictures to bring Ridley to life for ITV. Equally delighted that he’ll be portrayed by the iconic Adrian Dunbar.
“With his maverick idiosyncrasies, a heart on sleeve empathy and a unique approach to solving crime we hope Ridley will soon join the canon of favourite TV detectives.”