Broadchurch, Ripper Street and The Missing stars to play “pivotal roles” in Line of Duty series 3

Will Mellor, Leanne Best and Arsher Ali will join Daniel Mays as members of an armed response unit when Jed Mercurio's police drama returns to BBC2

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Broadchurch’s Will Mellor, Ripper Street’s Leanne Best and The Missing’s Asher Ali are to join Daniel Mays, Martin Compston and Vicky McClure in series three of Jed Mercurio’s Line of Duty, the twisting drama about police internal investigations.

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Mellor will play PC Rod Kennedy, Ali PC Harinderpal ‘Hari’ Bains and Best WPC Jackie Brickford, all members of an armed response unit led by Mays’ Sgt Danny Waldron

The usually highly proficient Sgt Waldron finds himself under investigation from AC-12 detectives DS Steve Arnott and DC Kate Fleming (Compston and McClure) after he begins to behave unpredictably, putting his colleagues and suspects in danger.

“Sergeant Danny Waldron appears to run a team of crack firearms officers, but hidden tensions simmer beneath the surface,” said Mercurio. “We’re all hugely excited that Will Mellor, Arsher Ali and Leanne Best have agreed to play these pivotal roles.”

Also returning for series three is Adrian Dunbar’s Superintendent Ted Hastings, but Keeley Hawes – whose inscrutable DI Lindsay Denton ended up behind bars at the end of the last run – will not be back, telling RadioTimes.com her role is “done and dusted“.

Will Mellor played electrician and self-confessed psychic Steve Connelly in series one of Broadchurch, Leanne Best was Jane Cobden in period crime drama Ripper Street, and was seen more recently in Sky Atlantic’s Fortitude, and Arsher Ali played journalist Malik Suri in The Missing and also starred in the movie Four Lions.

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Line of Duty series three comes to BBC2 later this year