Father Brown and co are back for another series of ecclesiastical crime-solving, with a new case every weekday, Monday to Friday, on BBC1 at 1:45pm.

Here's all you need to know about the detective priest, his cohorts and the stars behind the characters...

Father Brown – Mark Williams

Like many of the best TV detectives, Father Brown's unassuming manner conceals a brain like a steel trap. As a priest it's his job to understand people – and to see into their souls – which also proves to be particularly helpful in his work as an amateur sleuth.

Mark Williams has been a recognisable face on British TV screens for many years now but he's arguably best known as one of the stars of 90s comedy sketch series The Fast Show. Doctor Who fans will know him as Brian Williams, father of the Doctor's travelling companion Rory, Harry Potter fans will know him as Ron's dad Arthur Weasley, while in recent years he's had roles in Still Open All Hours, Blandings, Hustle and Being Human.

Mrs Bridgette McCarthy – Sorcha Cusack 

Mrs McCarthy is the parish secretary at St Mary's church, so is at the centre of much of village business, which is good since she enjoys a bit of gossip. She's devoted to Father Brown, helping him with his cases, and making sure he eats. She doesn't always see eye to eye with Lady Felicia, and there are regular clashes between them.

Sorcha Cusack comes from a family of actors, her sisters Sinéad Cusack, Niamh Cusack and Catherine Cusack are all in the business and she's the sister-in-law of Sinéad's husband Jeremy Irons and aunt to their son Max Irons. Numerous film and TV roles have included as Brad Pitt's mum in Guy Ritchie film Snatch and Mrs Nicholson in Mrs Brown's Boys (although that role has since been taken over by another actress).

Lady Felicia Montague – Nancy Carroll

Socialite Lady Felicia has an uncanny knack for stumbling across dead bodies, which usually elicits the famous fits of screaming that kick off one of Father Brown's cases. She's a loyal aide to the priest, but gets on less well with his secretary Mrs McCarthy.

Nancy Carroll is best know for her prolific stage career but recent screen roles suggest a taste for crime – you may have spotted her in The Suspicions of Mr Whichcer, Silent Witness and episodes of Midsomer Murders.

Sid Carter – Alex Price

Sid Carter (centre) is a former black marketeer turned lady Felicia's chauffeur whose criminal contacts often come in useful in Father Brown's cases.

Alex Price has appeared in a number of minor TV roles, particularly in the realms of fantasy and sci-fi. You may have seen him turn up in Being Human, Merlin, Doctor Who, Penny Dreadful and Beowulf.

The Honourable Penelope "Bunty" Windermere – Emer Kenny

Lady Felicia's niece Bunty shares her eye for the gents and is now at the centre of a divorce case after her involvement with a married man.

Emer Kenny is best known for her stint on Albert Square as EastEnders's Zsa Zsa Carter and more recently has been seen in BBC3 comedies. Pramface, Badults and Siblings.

Inspector Mallory – Jack Deam

An overzealous, and often misguided, police investigator, Inspector Mallory who doesn't always appreciate "Padre" Father Brown interfering in his cases.

Best known as pyromaniac Marty Fisher in Channel 4's Shameless, Jack Deam has also appeared in Heartbeat, Jimmy McGovern's recent drama Hillsborough drama and as rapist Phil Simmonds in a 2000 Coronation Street storyline.

Sergeant Goodfellow – John Burton

Inspector Mallory's right-hand man Sergeant Goodfellow occasionally slips Father Brown nuggets of useful information about a case behind his boss's back.

John Burton is no stranger to playing officers of the law, having been seen as DC Cody in Coronation Street, PC Steve Watson in Noah’s Ark, PC Joe Sambrook in The Bill and DS Andy Nicoll in Catch Me If You Can.

Viewers may also have spotted him in numerous other soap roles as well as in TV movie All in the Game, alongside Ray Winstone, and in 2006 drama Afterlife.

Monsieur Hercule Flambeau – John Light

Father Brown's arch-nemesis Hercule Flambeau is a ruthless jewel and art thief who pops up each series to cross swords with the priest.

When it comes to his screen work, John Light is another actor who's no stranger to crime, having appeared recently as Dacourt in Maigret, alongside Rowan Atkinson, and as Professor Felix Garwood in Lewis and prequel Endeavour.