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Daily Record
Siobhan Macdonald

Shetland stars tease 'very different' season 8 after Douglas Henshall departure

Shetland stars have teased the show will be going in a 'very different' direction as Ashley Jensen takes over the lead role in the upcoming season.

Ashley, 53, has taken over from Douglas Henshall who played DI Jimmy Perez for seven seasons. The actress, from Annan in Dumfries and Galloway, will be playing a new detective named DI Ruth Calder, a native Shetlander who returns to the Isles after 20 years working for the Met in London.

"She's a great actor and she's obviously very different from me," Henshall told following his departure from the show. "So, I mean, I think it will be interesting to have two women leading up this detective show on the Isles and see what that brings."

He added: "I think it's going to be very different, but I think that's what's most exciting about it – so yeah, I'm looking forward to seeing it."

Alison O'Donnell, who will be reprising her role as DS Alison "Tosh" McIntosh in the eighth season, revealed she's had a sneak peek at what's in store for the publication.

Douglas Henshall (BBC/Silverprint Pictures/Mark Mainz)

"I've read the first episodes, I've been nagging my agent to get them to send me some more so I can read on a bit," she said. "Obviously, it does feel very different because it's not Perez, and Perez was the absolute centre and heart of the show.

"So what they've done, which I think is the only thing they could have done, is taken off in another direction, but it feels different and fresh. And hopefully people will stay connected with it."

Ashley Jensen will take on a new role in Shetland (WireImage)

Jensen said at the time of her announcement: “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.”

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