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The BBC has announced casting on Virdee, the new crime thriller based on AA Dhand’s much-loved novels, now filming in Bradford.

The six-part series is adapted for the screen by AA Dhand and is produced by Magical Society for BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

Staz Nair (Rebel Moon, Game of Thrones) will lead the cast as Detective Harry Virdee, with Aysha Kala (Criminal Record, Indian Summers) as Saima Virdee, Harry’s wife.

Nina Singh (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry) plays Tara Virdee, Harry’s niece and a keen crime reporter, with Vikash Bhai (Crossfire, Limbo) as Harry’s brother-in-law Riaz Hyatt. Kulvinder Ghir (Foundation, Blinded By The Light) and Sudha Bhuchar (Expats, Rules of the Game) will play Harry Virdee’s parents, Ranjit and Jyoti.

Set and filmed in Bradford, Virdee follows Detective Harry Virdee (Staz Nair), a cop disowned by his Sikh family for marrying Saima (Aysha Kala), who is Muslim.

Harry struggles with the abandonment and now with his young son, Aaron, growing up and asking questions, thinks it might be time to attempt to reunite with his family. His personal life in chaos, he must now hunt down a serial killer targeting the Asian community.

When the murderer kidnaps a local police chief’s son 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.

Elizabeth Berrington (Good Omens, The Nevers) also joins the cast as DS Clare Conway and Danyal Ismail (All the Lights Still Burning, The Outrun) will play DS Amin.

The Virdee cast also includes Tomi May (Justice League), Andi Jashy (Gangs of London), Hussina Raja (Look at Us), Ashkay Kumar (Double Blind), Madiha Ansari (Home Sick), Jason Patel (Unicorns), Conor Lowson (The Bay) Rupert Procter (Doctors).

Multi award-winning composer Hans Zimmer (Interstellar, The Dark Knight) will compose the Virdee title theme with James Everingham and Shashwat Sachdev from Bleeding Fingers.

They will also work on the series score with trainees from Bleeding Fingers and Screen Academy Bradford, to give the trainees hands-on experience of composing for the screen.

Virdee creator, writer and executive producer AA Dhand says: “A truly diverse cast, with an abundance of talent but most importantly, real passion for this show. Staz Nair brings Harry Virdee authentically to life not only with a real physical presence but also an emotional depth that instantly resonated with us all.”

On playing Harry Virdee, Staz Nair says: “It’s an absolute honour to be taking on this vibrant and complex story about assimilating culture and what we’re willing to do to protect who and what we love. This show leads with vulnerability more than any detective drama I’ve ever seen, and it’s a privilege to be bringing AA Dhand’s hope for his city to life.”

Executive Producer for Magical Society, Paul Trijbits says: “From the moment we acquired the rights to Amit’s book, we set out on a long journey with the highest hopes and ambitions of what an adaptation of his series of Harry Virdee books could deliver...

"A first mainstream British Asian-led, returning crime series for BBC One, set in the immensely culturally diverse city of Bradford with a fascinating and deeply complex hero at its heart. Amit, who knows, lives and breathes Harry Virdee’s world has brilliantly adapted his books delivering a world that is both authentic and heightened.”

Virdee (6 x 60’) is adapted for the screen by AA Dhand and directed by Mark Tonderai (Doctor Who, Foundation).


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