ITV has commissioned West Road pictures to make detective drama, Ridley, starring Line of Duty’s Adrian Dunbar in the leading role.

Ridley is written and created by Paul Matthew Thompson, one of the lead writers of ITV’s detective drama, Vera, and co-created by Jonathan Fisher (Blood, Hollington Drive, Penance), Managing Director of West Road Pictures.  Both will act as Executive Producers.

Each of the 4 x 120’ films will be produced by West Road Pictures with Paul Matthew Thompson writing episodes one, two and four and Julia Gilbert (Agatha Raisin, Midsomer Murders) writing episode three.

The series will introduce charismatic Detective Inspector Alex Ridley, who is retiring from the police after years of dedicated service. After twenty-five years as a homicide copper, Ridley has been nudged out of the job he loves. But the prospect of retirement is not a particularly welcome one as he’s been cut off in his prime.

Ridley’s replacement is Acting DI Carol Farman, his former protégée whom Ridley mentored for many years. When he’s enlisted by Carol as a police consultant on a complex and compelling murder case, the investigation takes a dark and unexpected turn. Turning to her old mentor for support, Carol is keen to access Ridley’s unique insight into crime-solving which has served them so well in the past.

With more intriguing cases to solve, Ridley will be enticed out of retirement into his former role, reviving his formidable and successful partnership with Carol.

Commented Adrian Dunbar: “I don’t think I’ve ever headed into a production with more excitement and enthusiasm. As an actor I know how rare it is to be given such a wonderful opportunity, and the combination of Polly Hill and Chloe Tucker at ITV and Jonathan Fisher at West Road Pictures means we are in both safe and creative hands.

“Jonathan and I worked closely together on the very successful series Blood, and I’m confident we can bring some of that magic to Ridley. Here’s to getting the team together and developing a show that audiences can find both entertaining and engaging.”

Commented Jonathan Fisher:  “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.”

Commented Paul Matthew Thompson: “I am thrilled to be working with Jonathan Fisher and West Road Pictures to bring Ridley to life for ITV. Equally delighted that he’ll be portrayed by the iconic Adrian Dunbar. With his maverick idiosyncrasies, a heart on sleeve empathy and a unique approach to solving crime we hope Ridley will soon join the canon of favourite TV detectives.”

Ridley has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama, Polly Hill, with Drama Commissioner, Chloe Tucker overseeing production of the drama from the channel’s perspective.

Commented Chloe Tucker: “We are absolutely delighted that Adrian Dunbar will be starring as the retired DI Ridley, a man who cannot leave police work behind. We are excited to be working with West Road Pictures again, and to be bringing Paul Matthew Thompson’s brilliant scripts to screen.”

Ridley will begin filming later this autumn and details of further casting and key production personnel will be advised closer to filming commencing.

The series is produced in association with All3Media International who are the drama’s global partner.

All3Media International will distribute the series internationally.

Jon Creamer

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