Sanjeev Bhaskar has said that it will be "strange" returning for a fifth series of ITV's Unforgotten without Nicola Walker, who made a shock exit from the show earlier this year.


The crime drama follows detectives Sunny Khan (Bhaskar) and Cassie Stuart (Walker), as they tackle cold cases of disappearance and murder, hoping to finally find justice for the victims and their loved ones.

The fourth series premiered in February to glowing reviews and strong ratings, but left fans with jaws on the floor when Cassie was unexpectedly killed off in a car accident.

In an interview with, Bhaskar revealed that he was just as taken aback by the tragic storyline as viewers were, adding that Walker's character will "cast a shadow" over future episodes.

"When I first heard, I had a very similar reaction to when I then read it in the script, and then a similar reaction again when we filmed it, which is I felt slightly sick. It was a shock," he recalled.

"I think Nicola and Chris had been talking about where Cassie Stuart’s storyline would go, so I wasn't party to that. I mean, it's a huge thing to do and so it made sense dramatically, but yeah, it's very upsetting actually."

Bhaskar continued: "But also, Nicola became, and is, a really good friend... so it will be very strange not to have Nicola there. But it is a continuation of the story, so in a sense, I'm sure that Cassie Stuart’s character will cast a shadow."

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Bhaskar doesn't know much about who his co-star in the upcoming fifth series will be, with creator Chris Lang previously confirming to that be will be introducing a brand new female character.

"He said it would be an absolute mistake to replace Cassie Stuart – Nicola is irreplaceable, so it will be a character with a slightly different dynamic," said Bhaskar, referring to a recent conversation between himself and Lang.

"As to what that is or who that is, I don't know. I hope that I'll be reading with people or something at some stage, but I think the casting on all four series was excellent, it’s just been a delight to watch them work."

Most of the Unforgotten cast changes with each series, but several actors have featured across several of them, including Jordan Long (Prime Suspect 1973), Lewis Reeves (I May Destroy You), and Carolina Main (Blood).

Sanjeev Bhaskar is currently starring in Sandylands, which premieres tonight (Monday 25th October) at 10pm on UKTV channel Gold.


Unforgotten is available to stream on BritBox. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.