Ridley: Line of Duty’s Adrian Dunbar fronts ITV’s new detective drama this autumn

Adrian Dunbar - best known as AC-12 chief Superintendent Ted Hastings in Line of Duty - is back in another policing role as he plays Detective Inspector Alex Ridley in this new series.

By Sophia Moir Published: 10 August 2022 - 3.00pm
ITV Adrian Dunbar in Ridley first look

Adrian Dunbar won a legion of fans playing Superintendent Ted Hastings in the BBC’s police procedural, Line of Duty.

And the Northern Irish actor is returning in another policing role as he fronts ITV’s new detective drama Ridley, which should be hitting our screens this autumn. 

Dunbar, 64, plays the title role of a retired detective who's now working in a consultancy role. He resumes his partnership with his former protégée, DI Carol Farman (Bronagh Waugh), who's now in charge of investigations - before their case takes a dark turn. 

Here, we reveal everything we know so far about Ridley on ITV including the rumoured release date, plot, cast list, trailer, and more.

What’s the release date of Ridley on ITV?

ITV hasn’t revealed the release date for Ridley, but we expect it will premiere this autumn. We’ll update this article when we know more. 

Ridley consists of four, two-hour episodes. 

What’s the plot of Ridley? 

The series will introduce us to charismatic Detective Inspector (DI) Alex Ridley, who is retiring from the police after years of dedicated service. Ridley’s replacement is DI Carol Farman (Waugh), 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 revive his formidable and successful partnership with Carol. 

Inspired by the stories of real-life retired detectives who have returned to the force in consultancy roles to help out increasingly over-stretched colleagues, Ridley will explore thought-provoking crime stories in an original and distinctive way.

Who’s in the cast of Ridley?

  • Adrian Dunbar (Line of Duty, Broken) plays DI Alex Ridley

  • Bronagh Waugh (Unforgotten, Derry Girls) plays DI Carol Farman 

  • Terence Maynard (Time, Coronation Street) plays DCI Paul Goodwin

  • George Bukhari (Years and Years, The A Word) plays DC Darren Lakhan

  • Georgie Glen (The Crown, Call the Midwife) plays pathologist Dr Wendy Newstone.

The regular cast also includes Bhavna Limbachia (Citizen Khan, Coronation Street), Aidan McArdle (The Trial of Christine Keeler, The Fall) and Julie Graham (Shetland, Penance).

Adrian Dunbar talks 'singing detective' DCI Alex Ridley and Ted Hastings comparisons

Adrian Dunbar has addressed the similarities between his two major policing roles. He's played Superintendent Edward 'Ted' Hastings in Line of Duty on the BBC since season one, and he's now playing a former detective in ITV's crime drama, Ridley.

Speaking about the two characters, he says:  "Ted's office-bound, uniform-bound, but once I see Ridley out of character he's completely different. He's complicated. He's a bit gruff. You don't feel a pile of warmth off him from the start."

Speaking about Ridley, he says: "He's a character who can progress throughout the series. It wasn't a problem to play another cop!"

The 63-year-old Northern Irish actor also got to show off his vocal skills for his role in Ridley, as he suggested that his character be a "singing detective". Dunbar, who attended Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, is the frontman for country-jazz band, Adie Dunbar and the Jonahs. They released their album Two Brothers last year.

Speaking to Sunday Life, Dunbar revealed his performing arts career actually started in music. “I was in bands many years ago. I played in bands, so that’s where it started. I started playing in bands and singing backing vocals and all the rest of it," he said.

“That was always something that was there and I just never got a chance to do any of that. I started acting and that went away."

It sounds like Ridley is the perfect part for him, then.

Is there a trailer for Ridley?

Not yet, but we’ll update this article when there is.

Who created Ridley?

Ridley is written and created by Paul Matthew Thompson, one of the lead writers of ITV’s iconic detective drama, Vera. 

It’s co-created by Jonathan Fisher (Blood, Hollington Drive, Penance), Managing Director of West Road Pictures. Both will act as Executive Producers alongside Ingrid Goodwin. 

It is a West Road Pictures Production for ITV in association with All3Media International.

Ridley premieres on ITV this autumn.

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