Meera Syal to star in Broadchurch series 2

Goodness Gracious Me and The Kumars writer and actress joins David Tennant, Olivia Colman and the cast of the much-awaited new series of the ITV drama

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Meera Syal has been cast in the second series of Broadchurch, RadioTimes.com can reveal.

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The Goodness Gracious Me and Kumars star will join a stellar cast headed by David Tennant and Olivia Colman in the seaside-set murder series, expected to return to ITV early next year.

The broadcaster confirmed that Syal has started filming her scenes but declined to give any clues as to what her role will be. However one insider said it will be “pivotal” in the next run of the series that is currently shooting in and around the seaside town of Clevedon in Somerset.

In the new series, Jodie Whittaker and Andrew Buchan will also reprise their roles as the grieving parents of murdered boy Danny Latimer from series one. Former Doctor Who companion Arthur Darvill will also return as local vicar Paul Coates.

Among the list of confirmed newcomers is veteran actress Charlotte Rampling. The part played by Rampling – who has recently been seen as Dr Evelyn Vogel in the final season of serial killer drama Dexter – is also being kept a closely guarded secret by ITV.

Other new faces will include James D’Arcy, who is best known for his roles in the films Cloud Atlas and Hitchcock, and Marianne Jean-Baptiste, who has starred in the US TV series Without A Trace and Private Practice.

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Speaking of the new series, writer Chris Chibnall said: “We have another big story to tell this year, and that meant finding exceptional actors for new roles.”