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Line of Duty star to lead ITV crime drama

Adrian Dunbar (centre) in Line of Duty

UK commercial broadcaster ITV has ordered a detective drama starring Line of Duty‘s Adrian Dunbar.

Ridley is being written by Paul Matthew Thompson (Vera) and produced by All3Media-owned UK prodco West Road Pictures.

The series will centre on Alex Ridley (Dunbar), a charismatic detective who is retiring from the police after 25 years of dedicated service. Ridley’s replacement is acting DI Carol Farman, the former protégée whom Ridley mentored for many years. When Farman enlists Ridley as a police consultant on a complex and compelling murder case, the investigation takes a dark and unexpected turn.

Thompson has co-created the series with Midsomer Murders producer Jonathan Fisher (Blood, Hollington Drive, Penance), MD of West Road Pictures, which Fisher launched in 2019. Both will executive produce the show.

The series will comprise four two-hour films. Each will be produced by West Road Pictures, with Thompson writing episodes one, two and four and Julia Gilbert (Agatha Raisin, Midsomer Murders) penning episode three.

Fisher said: “I couldn’t be happier to be getting started on Ridley as we continue to build the West Road production slate with our second commission for ITV. We’re so excited to be teaming up once again with the inimitable Adrian Dunbar, bringing to life Paul Matthew Thompson’s characterful and engaging scripts. ITV has a fine tradition of nurturing much-loved detective series, and it’s a real privilege to be bringing Ridley to the channel.”

The series has been commissioned for ITV by head of drama Polly Hill, with drama commissioner Chloe Tucker overseeing production for the channel.

Due to begin filming this autumn, the series will be distributed around the world by All3Media International.

West Road is currently in production on Hollington Drive for ITV. Since launching, it has also produced a second season of Virgin Media in Ireland’s award-winning drama Blood, which also stars Dunbar, and UK broadcaster Channel 5’s Penance.

Dunbar has played Superintendent Ted Hastings, the no-nonsense leader of a police anti-corruption unit, in all six seasons of Jed Mercurio’s hit BBC drama Line of Duty.

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