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Cast announced for Bradford-based thriller Virdee

Staz Nair (Rebel Moon, Game of Thrones) will take the title role in new Bradford-based crime thriller, Virdee.

He’ll play Detective Harry Virdee in the 6-part series based on AA Dhand’s novels.

“It’s an absolute honour to be taking on this vibrant and complex story about assimilating culture and what we’re willing to do to protect who and what we love,” said Nair.

“This show leads with vulnerability more than any detective drama I’ve ever seen, and it’s a privilege to be bringing AA Dhand’s hope for his city to life.”

The show, produced by Magical Society for BBC One and BBC iPlayer has started shooting in Bradford and will also feature Aysha Kala (Criminal Record, Indian Summers); Nina Singh (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry); Vikash Bhai (Crossfire, Limbo); Kulvinder Ghir (Foundation, Blinded By The Light); and Sudha Bhuchar (Expats, Rules of the Game).

“A truly diverse cast, with an abundance of talent but most importantly, real passion for this show. Staz Nair brings Harry Virdee authentically to life not only with a real physical presence but also an emotional depth that instantly resonated with us all,” explained Virdee creator, writer and executive producer AA Dhand.

Virdee follows Detective Harry Virdee, a cop disowned by his Sikh family for marrying Saima (Aysha Kala), who is Muslim. 

Virdee struggles with the abandonment and now with his young son, Aaron, growing up and asking questions, thinks it might be time to attempt to reunite with his family. His personal life in chaos, he must now hunt down a serial killer targeting the Asian community.

“From the moment we acquired the rights to Amit’s book, we set out on a long journey with the highest hopes and ambitions of what an adaptation of his series of Harry Virdee books could deliver,” said Paul Trijbits, Executive Producer for Magical Society.

“A first mainstream British Asian-led, returning crime series for BBC One, set in the immensely culturally diverse city of Bradford with a fascinating and deeply complex hero at its heart. Amit, who knows, lives and breathes Harry Virdee’s world has brilliantly adapted his books delivering a world that is both authentic and heightened.”

Multi award-winning composer Hans Zimmer (Interstellar, The Dark Knight) will compose the Virdee title theme with James Everingham and Shashwat Sachdev from Bleeding Fingers. 

They will also work on the series score with trainees from Bleeding Fingers and Screen Academy Bradford, to give the trainees hands-on experience of composing for the screen.

Virdee (6 x 60’) is adapted for the screen by AA Dhand and directed by Mark Tonderai (Doctor Who, Foundation). The series is executive produced by Paul Trijbits (Jane Eyre, The Casual Vacancy, Saving Mr Banks) for Magical Society, AA Dhand, and Jo McClellan for the BBC. 

Virdee is a Magical Society production for BBC One and BBC iPlayer in association with Screen Yorkshire. Cineflix Rights is the exclusive worldwide distribution partner outside of the UK.

The show makers have also partnered with Bradford Council to create Screen Academy Bradford, which offers a series of specific training programmes across all departments of TV production, enabling those who apply the chance to learn and work in the TV industry. 

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