Adrian Dunbar earned legions of devoted fans for his powerhouse performance on Line of Duty – which spawned no shortage of classic lines – but now he's stepping into a very different police officer role for ITV's Ridley.


The new drama stars Dunbar as ex-detective inspector Alex Ridley, who is brought back from retirement to serve as a consultant on a complex murder case.

In his time away from the frontlines, Ridley has opened a jazz club with a friend and performs music throughout the series, which is an aspect of the character that Dunbar takes credit for championing.

It certainly distinguishes him from the all-business Ted Hastings, with the Line of Duty star himself weighing in on comparisons that will inevitably be made to his most famous role.

Written and created by Vera's Paul Matthew Thompson, the drama also stars Unforgotten's Bronagh Waugh as Carol, who brings on Ridley to assist on cracking a complex murder case, before things take a dark and sinister turn.

Read on for all the details you need on Ridley, which has its big premiere on the coveted August bank holiday weekend.

Ridley release date

Ridley premieres on ITV at 8pm on Sunday 28th August 2022, taking a two-hour primetime slot. The series will continue at the same time the following week.

Ridley was filmed in the north of England earlier this year and although the weather was chilly, the mood was overwhelmingly positive on set, with Dunbar himself saying "we really couldn't be off to a better start."

"Despite the wintry weather, everything from cast and crew right down to the catering is excellent," he continued. "Bronagh Waugh has stepped into her character’s shoes seamlessly and we have been joined by some great actors with more to come."

Adrian Dunbar plays the piano and sings as Ridley
Adrian Dunbar plays the piano and sings as Ridley ITV

Ridley cast

Adrian Dunbar plays the lead role of retired detective and amateur jazz musician Alex Ridley, who is called out of retirement to tackle a case that has been plaguing a former protege.

Bronagh Waugh (Unforgotten) plays a recently promoted Detective Inspector Carol Farman, who reaches out to her old mentor for help, but their newly flipped power dynamic will have to be navigated delicately.

Also rounding out the cast are Time's Terence Maynard (DCI Paul Goodwin), The A Word's George Bukhari (DC Darren Lakhan) and The Crown's Georgie Glen (Dr Wendy Newstone).

Bhavna Limbachia (Citizen Khan), Aidan McArdle (The Trial of Christine Keeler) and Julie Graham (Shetland) are also part of the regular cast.

Is there a Ridley trailer?

Check out a tantalising look at the action here:

Take a look at the rest of our Drama coverage, or find out what else is on with our TV Guide.


The latest issue of Radio Times is on sale now – subscribe now to get each issue delivered to your door. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times podcast with Jane Garvey.