RTS award winning actress Sinéad Keenan is to play the role of DCI Jessica James in ITV’s critically acclaimed and RTS nominated crime drama, Unforgotten, created and written by renowned screenwriter Chris Lang and produced by Mainstreet Pictures. Dublin born Sinéad, who was also BAFTA nominated for her role as Melanie Jones in Little Boy Blue, begins filming her new role later this month alongside BAFTA nominated Sanjeev Bhaskar who has played DI Sunil ‘Sunny’ Khan in four previous series of the hugely successful cold case murder drama.

Commented Sinéad Keenan:

“I have long been an admirer of Chris Lang’s work so I am absolutely delighted to be joining the Unforgotten team. I’m very much looking forward to working with the extraordinary cast led by the brilliant and incredibly lovely, Sanjeev Bhaskar. And I’m hoping that if I play my cards right I might even get to take a peek in Sunny’s backpack!” 

Directed by Andy Wilson (Unforgotten, Endeavour, Ripper Street), who has directed all 24 episodes of the ITV drama since its debut on the channel in 2015, Unforgotten is produced by Guy de Glanville (Unforgotten, Gold Digger, Age Before Beauty) and executive produced by Sally Haynes, Chris Lang and Laura Mackie for Mainstreet Pictures. Andy Wilson and Guy de Glanville also executive produce the series.

Commented Chris Lang:

“And so it begins, a new Unforgotten journey – and it’s scary, for Sunny and the Bishop Street team, for the audience, for all of us. But it’s also very, very, exciting, and I cannot wait for you to meet DCI Jessica ‘Jessie’ James, played by the always brilliant, Sinéad Keenan.”

The new series opens with the clock ticking down to DCI James’s first day in her new job with an unforeseen and devastating introduction to her family life. Determined to make a good first impression with her new colleagues, will Jess be in the right frame of mind to deliver and inspire the team? And inevitably how will the ghost of much-loved former colleague Cassie Stuart haunt her? After all, Cassie will be big shoes for her to fill. Does she have the resolve, professionalism and spirit to live up to her much-admired and respected predecessor? Jess’s first case is the discovery of human remains in a newly renovated period property in Hammersmith, London. But how long have they been there and is this a murder dating back to the 1930’s or has the body been disposed of in more recent times?

As the murder mystery unfolds, we’ll explore the lives of several central characters Jay, played by Rhys Yates (The Outlaws, Silent Witness), Bele with Martina Laird (Summerland, The Bay) in the role, Tony played by Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones, Derry Girls), and Max Rinehart (Jekyll and Hyde, Miss You Already) as Karol, who on the face of it appear seemingly unconnected to the victim. Hayley Mills will also play Tony’s wife, Emma. DI Khan’s loyal and hard-working cold case investigations team are also back together for the series with Jordan Long as DS Murray Boulting and Carolina Main as DC Fran Lingley reprising their roles. Returning to the series are Georgia Mackenzie as pathologist Dr Leanne Balcombe, Michelle Bonnard as Sunny’s partner, Sal and Pippa Nixon as DC Kaz Willets.

Commented Laura Mackie and Sally Haynes on behalf of Mainstreeet Pictures:

“It’s a new era for Unforgotten and we’re delighted that the brilliant Sinéad Keenan is joining Sanjeev Bhaskar to head up another gripping and emotional investigation.” Unforgotten has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama, Polly Hill, and Drama Commissioner, Huw Kennair Jones. Huw will oversee production of the drama from ITV’s perspective.

Commented Huw Kennair Jones:

“Once again Chris has created a fascinating set of characters and woven a compelling story that the many Unforgotten fans are going to love. And we’re thrilled Sinéad is joining Sanjeev and the rest of the team in what is going to be another brilliant series for the ITV audience.”

Filming for this new series will be taking place in London, Tilbury, Bath and Paris with Andy Wilson once again directing the series. Each of the six episodes in this fifth series will be written by Chris Lang who is also known for his work on Innocent, The Hookup Plan, Dark Heart, A Mother’s Son and the soon to be aired ITV drama, The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe. Unforgotten producers, Mainstreet Pictures, are an ITV Studios label, founded in 2013 by Joint Managing Directors and Executive Producers, Laura Mackie and Sally Haynes.

A Mainstreet production for ITV, Unforgotten is co-produced with MASTERPIECE in association with BBC Studios, who will distribute series five and the previous four series internationally.