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The BBC has commissioned Virdee, a new detective series based on AA Dhand’s best-selling crime novels and starring Sacha Dhawan (Doctor Who, The Great, Wolf), from newly formed production company Magical Society, headed up by Paul Trijbits (Jane Eyre, The Letter For The King, The Casual Vacancy).

Image credit: David Reiss

The new six-part drama for BBC One and BBC iPlayer was announced today by Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama, at the Edinburgh TV Festival’s Spotlight on the BBC session.

The series introduces Detective Harry Virdee (Sacha Dhawan), a Bradford cop disowned by his Sikh family for marrying Saima, who is Muslim. Harry struggles with the abandonment, constantly attempting to reunite with his family. With his personal life in chaos, he must hunt down a killer targeting the Asian community.

When the murderer kidnaps a local MP’s daughter in Bradford and holds the entire city to ransom, Harry realises that he is going to need the help of his brother-in-law Riaz, a drugs kingpin who runs the largest cartel in the county. Pulled together in an alliance that could ruin them both, Harry must make a choice: save himself and his family or save his city. He will not be able to do both.

AA Dhand says: “Like me, DCI Harry Virdee is a proud Brit who dreams big and whilst he is passionate about his heritage, it is not something which solely defines him. He refuses to be shackled by the past and believes in merging worlds, cultures and identities; no matter the cost. Hey, aim big or go home – this is Yorkshire.”

Executive Producer Paul Trijbits says: “Working with Amit to get the Harry Virdee books to the screen has been a long but utterly satisfying journey. It’s no mean feat for Amit to have succeeded in adapting this love story set in such a rich and complex world and wrapping it all up in a crime series.”

Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama, adds: “I’m passionate about supporting writers at every stage in their careers and we are thrilled to be working with Amit on his very first drama for television along with the team at Magical Society. Virdee is a powerful and gripping detective story but at its heart are two people in love and their struggle to be accepted as a couple. With Sacha in the lead role of Harry and Bradford providing the perfect backdrop, I can’t wait for viewers to be captivated by this series.”

Virdee (6 x 60’) is adapted for the screen by AA Dhand. Filming will start later this year in and around Bradford and further cast will be announced in due course.


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