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Shetland: Ashley Jensen confirmed as Douglas Henshall’s replacement

The BBC has confirmed that actress Ashley Jensen will replace Douglas Henshall in forthcoming series of Shetland.

Henshall starred as Jimmy Perez for seven highly successful series, and fans mourned his final episode earlier this year.

Now we know who’s taking over.

Jensen – whose illustrious and critically-acclaimed career includes cosy crime drama Agatha Raisin – will star as DI Ruth Calder, a native Shetlander who returns to the isles after 20 years working for the Met in London. Ruth takes on the lead detective role left vacant by DI Jimmy Perez (Douglas Henshall) working closely with DS Alison ‘Tosh’ McIntosh (Alison O’Donnell) and will make her debut when the series returns to BBC One and BBC iPlayer next year.

Originally based on award-winning novels by crime writer Ann Cleeves, the next series of Shetland will see Ashley join series regulars Steven Robertson (Sandy), Lewis Howden (Billy) and Anne Kidd (Cora). Further casting will be announced in due course.

Jensen says: “I am absolutely thrilled to be joining Shetland as DI Ruth Calder. It’s such a hugely successful show and I am aware I have very big boots to fill since the departure of DI Perez, who was very much loved by fans of the show.

“There will be a different dynamic with Ruth amongst the regular characters and a few more new interesting characters to enjoy. However the integrity of the show and the world that has been created will remain very much in the same tone as the last seven seasons. It’s a real privilege to be asked to lead this show into a new chapter. I can’t wait to be working in Scotland again. I have missed it!”

Series eight will begin production in the spring.

Over to you… what do you think of this news?

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