Shameless star Anne-Marie Duff takes lead role in new BBC police drama From Darkness

Actress will play ex-copper Claire Church who leaves the mysoginy of the police force for a new life in Scotland only to find herself sucked into a new investigation...

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Shameless star Anne-Marie Duff is to play TV’s next strong-willed policewoman in new BBC drama From Darkness.

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She will take on the role of Claire Church – an ex-police officer who left her job in the mid-90s after the impact of sexism and violence became too overwhelming.

Finding herself ignored in the office and disillusioned by her relationship with her married colleague, Clare finds solace instead in the remote Western Isles of Scotland with her new partner Norrie and daughter Megan.

But four bodies from Claire’s past investigations are soon unearthed, meaning that she is pulled back into the policing world she had turned her back on.

Anne-Marie Duff praised writer Katie Baxendale’s scripts: “[She] has created a beautifully complex character in her female protagonist. As soon as I started to read episode one I felt excited at the prospect of being involved. It’s a world in which all of the characters have real stories to tell. Also I loved the BBC series The Village and one of its directors, Dominic Leclerc, will be our director on this. I couldn’t be happier.”

Baxendale returned the praise, adding: ‘I’m a huge fan of Anne-Marie Duff. In Claire, I hope I’ve created a psychologically complex lead female character and I can’t wait to see all that Anne-Marie brings to the role.”

Executive producer Hilary Martin said: “We’re thrilled that the stunningly talented Anne-Marie Duff will bring the emotionally compelling Claire Church to life for a BBC1 audience. We are delighted to have assembled such a talented team on both sides of the camera to do justice to Katie Baxendale’s brilliant script.”

Filming on the four-part BBC1 drama begins in Manchester and Scotland later this month, with further casting announcements due to be made soon. It is likely to air towards the end of 2015.

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The part of Claire Church continues a strong line of impressive female policewomen in BBC dramas, following on from acclaimed performances by the likes of Sarah Lancashire in Happy Valley and Keeley Hawes in Line of Duty.