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Five new faces will shake things up in Shieldinch as BBC Scotland’s award-winning drama, River City, welcomed new characters to the show with filming resuming this week at the BBC Dumbarton Studios, following their summer break.

Actors Emma Currie (Crime), Edward M Corrie (Guilt), Frances Mayli McCann (Shetland), George Drennan (Dracula Revamped) and Ahd Tamimi (Vikings: Valhalla) will bring more drama to streets of Shieldinch as their characters make their own unique impact on the residents.

Emma Currie takes on the role of high-flying legal advocate, Victoria Campbell Baxter, sister of Andrew (played by Greg Powrie) – a woman who has the reputation for always getting what she wants.

Victoria arrives in Shieldinch offering moral support to her younger brother following the Lydia Murdoch rape allegations which surround him. However, Victoria is a ruthless figure, loyal only to herself and might bring more woes Andrew’s way.

Meanwhile, love is in the air for Mikey (Darren Brownlie) and his new boyfriend Jonathon Whitlock (played by Edward M Corrie). Obsessed with romance and finding ‘Mr Right’, Jonathon bowls Mikey over with his unwavering affection. However, Mikey’s best friend Gillian (Gail Watson) worries all is not as it seems – could Jonathon be too good to be true?

Elsewhere, Sam’s life (played by Grant Stott) is turned upside down by the arrival of two family members – older brother Seb Spiller (played by George Drennan) and step-daughter Chloe Qi-Lewis (Frances Mayli McCann).

Sibling rivalry is alive and well between the Spiller brothers. Plumber by day, musician by night, Seb’s arrival will prove explosive as the bickering brothers reunite and family disharmony becomes top billing.

In stark contrast, there’s a warm welcome for Sam’s step-daughter Chloe who arrives to reconnect with her father-figure after hearing Sam’s voice on the radio. Chloe is a bit of an adventurer and left behind her life in Hong Kong for a new start. Much like Sam, Chloe is a fun spirit whom others are drawn to.

Finally, there’s a new barber in town – Armand Ashraf, played by Ahd Tamini. After setting up his pop-up barber’s shop in Shieldinch’s new Merchant’s Yard, Armand will quickly get reacquainted with old pal Ash (played by Brian James Leys) as well as forming new friendships. While Armand arrives for business, he’ll stay for pleasure.

Emma Currie (Victoria Campbell-Baxter) says: "I am very excited about taking on the role of Victoria Campbell-Baxter - for one thing I get to use my own anglicised Scottish accent! Now, I can enjoy bringing out all the subtleties of a posh Scot who is clearly suffering from a complex family trauma that no doubt has plagued the Campbell Baxter’s from generation to generation. I want to have some fun with her and show that people are never just one thing…we are all capable of wearing many faces. I’m very much looking forward to settling into life in Shieldinch."

Martin McCardie, BBC Studios Series Producer, says: "Love, family and trendy haircuts. The new members of the River City cast will bring a freshness and excitement to Montego Street, there will be marriage proposals, families reunited and of course a murder. We look forward to bringing a new exciting River City, with all the favourite characters that the audience love to the viewers. We can’t wait."

Gavin Smith, Commissioning Executive, BBC Scotland, says: "We are delighted to welcome a raft of new faces and characters to River City for the first of our new series as the shape of Shieldinch changes this October. There’s plenty of property on Montego Street to squeeze them in and hope the residents and fans will make them all feel very welcome."

Filming began this week with the acclaimed drama changing to a new multi-series format. This means that, from Monday 23rd October, River City will air as three distinct series a year with breaks of six weeks in between. Each series will run for 11 weeks, twice-weekly with new episodes premiering every Monday on BBC iPlayer.

River City – which recently won ‘Best Drama’ at the RTS Scotland 2023 awards – also recently launched a new Training Academy based at the BBC Dumbarton Studios. The scheme, which has been created in partnership with Screen Scotland, is the first of its kind for Scotland and the award-winning series, offering training and development opportunities for both external and internal talent across two years. The initiative is part of BBC Studios’ commitment to find, develop and retain the best talent both on and off screen.

Participants will be given access to classes and workshops, while a filming unit – made up of River City’s technical crew and actors - will work in a no-pressure environment to teach the trainees. Beyond the initial training, on-set opportunities will be offered within their new roles.

Applications to register interest for the January 2024 cohort are now open via the BBC Careers website and will see a whole new group of entry-level trainees start their careers in storylining, sound, camera, costume, makeup design and more.


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