This Morning: Ashley Jenson talks about role on Shetland

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Since 2013 fans have watched as DI Perez solved crimes and cases across the close-knit island community of Shetland. However, after nearly a decade in the role actor Douglas Henshall bid farewell to the series. After it was revealed Ashley Jenson will be his replacement in the new season of the BBC drama, the actress touched on taking over the reins.

In September 2022, viewers watched DI Jimmy Perez solve his last-ever case in the series seven finale.

The detective sacrificed his own role after helping an innocent man, who had been wrongly arrested for a murder her didn’t commit, escape by giving him back his passport.

Perez’s final scenes saw him rekindling his relationship with nurse Meg Pattison (Lucianne McEvoy) as he declared his love for her.

Although the main detective has departed from the show, the series is set to continue with actress Ashley Jenson joining the cast as DI Ruth Calder. 

Appearing on Tuesday’s instalment of This Morning, presenter Holly Willoughby commented on how excited she must be about starring in the show.

Ashley replied: “It’s big boots to jump into, it’s such a well-loved show and such a well-loved character that it’s a privilege.

“It’s a privilege to be there and to be asked to play this part.”

Usually, This Morning would play snippets from the show, however Phil confessed they were unable to as they’re yet to shoot anything for the new series.

Ashley told the presenters they will be filming in March 2023 before speaking a bit more about her new role in the BBC drama.

Phil asked: “How much do you know? Who is Ruth Calder?”

The new Shetland star replied: “Ruth Calder is a detective who’s worked at the Met for the last 20 years.

“She is returning to Shetland, which is where she’s actually from, but she’s been away for a very long time.

“She’s back in Shetland, a case that’s taken her up there, much more than that I don’t really know.”

The 53-year-old teased although the series will still have the overall essence of what Shetland is, there’s a new dynamic.

During their interview, the actress confessed that although she’s taking over the role of the new detective in the British Isles, she’s never been there herself.

She told Phil and Holly: “I’ve always wanted to go. I’m quite excited, I’ve got to be prepared for the cold.

“I’ve lived down South for quite a while now so it’ll be heated trousers and hand warmers.”

Despite low temperatures, Ashley admitted she was looking forward to working in Scotland again.

Before the final episode featuring Douglas aired in the middle of September, the actor took to Twitter to share some departing words with his fans.

He said: “Ok. Here we go. Enjoy the ride. I know I have. #Shetland.”
His tweet received an outpour of love and support from Shetland fans with many thanking him for his many years of dedication to the role.

Shetland episodes are now available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

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