Paul Marquess, the former producer of Lime Pictures’ Hollyoaks, is behind a new crime drama for Channel 5, starring Fay Ripley, Damien Molony and Clare-Hope Ashitey.

Unusually in Suspects, the dialogue will be improvised by the actors and the series will be directed in a way usually associated with factuals and fly-on-the-wall documentaries.

“Working without a script means that you need actors who are confident, intelligent and articulate. Fay, Clare and Damien have wholeheartedly embraced this very new process; the results have a spontaneity about them that is fresh, engaging and hugely watchable,” explained Marquess, now managing director of Newman Street, part of FremantleMedia UK.

Marquess is co-creator and will exec produce the series.

“I have shied away from playing cops for years, but I have always wanted to work on the right cop show. The whole method of filming [Suspects] brings to it a sense of reality, so I am playing myself as a cop, rather than playing someone else’s telly version of me,” stated Ripley.

“We all feel like we’re in this new and exciting thing together, we are all allowed to pitch in – which you rarely are as an actor – so it definitely is handing us something that we are not normally handed. It’s all up for grabs.”

Suspects, which previously had the working title of Evidence, was commissioned by Channel 5’s director of programmes, Ben Frow, it’s slated to air early next year.