DI Ray: Release date confirmed for new ITV crime drama which reunites Line of Duty actress Maya Sondhi with Jed Mercurio

Set in Birmingham, DI Ray follows a police officer who takes on a case that forces her to confront a lifelong personal conflict between her British identity and her South Asian heritage.

By Sophia Moir Published: 22 April 2022 - 9.39am
ITV DI Ray main image

Parminder Nagra is Rachita Ray in new ITV crime drama DI Ray, written by Maya Sondhi and produced by Jed Mercurio

We started the year with Trigger Point, but now we’re ready for a new crime drama to sink our teeth into - and DI Ray sounds like just the ticket.

A gripping four-part drama, DI Ray tracks a compelling murder investigation whilst exploring the emotive subject of racism in the workplace - and it's coming soon to ITV.

It’s been written by Maya Sondhi (of Line of Duty fame), reuniting her with Line of Duty’s creator Jed Mercurio, who’s producing DI Ray with his independent production company, HTM Television,

Here, we reveal everything we know so far about DI Ray, including the confirmed release date, who's in the cast, the trailer, plot, where it was filmed, and more.

When is the release date for DI Ray?

DI Ray will premiere Monday 2 May at 9pm on ITV. It will air over four consecutive nights, so the final episode will air Thursday 5 May at 9pm.

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Who’s in the cast of DI Ray?

  • Parminder Nagra is DI Rachita Ray

  • Gemma Whelan is DCI Kerry Henderson

  • Jamie Bamber is DCI Martyn Hunter

  • Maanuv Thiara is PS Tony Khatri

  • Ian Puleston-Davies is Supt Ross Beardsmore

  • Sam Baker-Jones as DCI Liam Payne

  • Manpreet Bachu is Kabir Kapoor

  • Demelza O'Sullivan is PC Knott

  • Ezra Faroque Khan is Dev Ray

  • Taru Devani is Darshan

  • Bhavik C. Pankhania is Tariq

  • Sabrina Pui Yee Chin is PCSO Amanda Hay

  • Shobu Kapoor is Debo Ray

  • Lucy Phelps is Laura Milne

  • Helen George is Annalie

  • Steve Oram is DS Clive Bottomley

  • Rowena King is DS Maureen Groves

  • Paul Copley is Terry

  • Peter Bankole is DS Kwesi Edmund

Parminder Nagra is DI Rachita Ray

Parminder Nagra is DI Rachita Ray ITV

Parminder Nagra (Bend It Like Beckham, ER, The Blacklist) takes on the lead role of Detective Inspector Rachita Ray, a Leicester-born police officer who takes on a case that forces her to confront a lifelong personal conflict between her British identity and her South Asian heritage.

Giving us a glimpse into the character of DI Ray, Nagra reveals: “She's definitely strong - she wouldn't be able to do half the things she does, or get where she is in her career, without tenacity. 

“I think she's conflicted about her own identity and the piece raises a lot of questions about what happens in the workplace, and whether she's hired for a case that's culturally specific or if she’s hired because of her ability, that's a constant question in her mind.

"But as a detective she’s just persistent and hard-working, she doesn't stop.”

Gemma Whelan is DCI Kerry Henderson

Gemma Whelan is DCI Kerry Henderson ITV

Gemma Whelan (The Tower, Game of Thrones, Killing Eve) plays Detective Chief Inspector Kerry Henderson. Speaking about her character, Whelan says: “When we first meet Kerry, [she] really feels that Rachita has been given a bump up before she's ready. 

“In Kerry’s view, everyone else has worked their way up through the ranks and earned their place in the team, whereas Rachita has had a ‘have-a-go-hero moment’ as Kerry sees it, and hasn’t earned her job title.

"And so for Kerry, Rachita has got to prove herself, she's got no time for her initially and gives her a hard time.”

Jamie Bamber is DCI Martyn Hunter

Jamie Bamber is DCI Martyn Hunter ITV

Jamie Bamber (Innocent, Marcella, Strike Back) plays Detective Chief Inspector Martyn Hunter. His character supports DI Ray following her promotion. He says: “Martyn is very supportive of Rachita. At the start of the series, she's in a difficult transitional moment where she's been promoted and she's nervous. 

“She is launched straight into a suspected ‘culturally sensitive homicide’ case where it is assumed that her South Asian heritage is going to be important. She immediately has a feeling that she's been thrown into the deep end, and the case isn’t what it seems.”

Who is Maya Sondhi and who did she play in Line of Duty?

Maya Sondhi PC Maneet Bindra Line of Duty BBC

Maya Sondhi is an actress and screenwriter. As an actress, she’s appeared in Mount Pleasant, The Kumars, Ackley Bridge, and EastEnders. Sondhi has written episodes of TV shows including EastEnders and Ackley Bridge, but DI Ray is her first major writing gig. Sondhi does not appear in DI Ray as an actress.

Crime drama fans will recognise her from Line of Duty, where she played PC Maneet Bindra for three seasons, above. Maneet worked in AC-12, alongside Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) and DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure). You can find out what happened to her character here (SPOILERS).

What’s the plot of DI Ray?

In the first episode, we meet DI Rachita Ray, who achieves the promotion she’s been waiting for in the police when she’s asked to join a homicide investigation. However, on her first day she’s told the murder to which she’s been assigned is a ‘Culturally Specific Homicide'. Rachita’s heart sinks – she suspects she’s a ‘token appointment’, chosen for her ethnicity rather than her ability. 

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Rachita sticks to the case, determined to both find the killer and call out the obvious biases her colleagues are bringing to the investigation. And it’s far from easy. The case isn’t a run-of-the-mill murder; it involves delving deep into the dangerous world of organised crime. 

Rachita is more than up for the task, but what she didn’t count on is what this case stirs up inside her; the realisation that she’s been burying a personal identity crisis her whole life. Truth is, she's had to work twice as hard as everyone else.  It's not that she doesn't want to be Indian, it’s just that it would have been easier if she were white. 

Is there a trailer for DI Ray?

Yes, you can watch the thrilling first-look trailer for DI Ray below:

Where was DI Ray filmed?

DI Ray was filmed in the Midlands during the autumn of 2021. 

Watch DI Ray if you liked…

Line of Duty, Bodyguard, Trigger Point, Bloodlands, Broadchurch, Unforgotten.

 

DI Ray starts Monday 2 May at 9pm on ITV.