Douglas Henshall's final episode of Shetland may have aired in September last year, however it won't be long until Ashley Jensen takes over as lead – with star Alison O'Donnell confirming season 8's filming date.


Speaking to in an exclusive interview at the Radio Times Covers Party, O'Donnell – who's played Detective Sergeant Alison 'Tosh' McIntosh since season 1 – revealed that shooting is due to start in the coming months.

"We start filming at the end of March, that's all I know," she said.

"We're always the last to know when it's actually going to transmit so don't ask me. Ask someone higher up the pay chain."

DI Jimmy Perez (Douglas Henshall) in Shetland
Douglas Henshall left the role of Jimmy Perez on Shetland last year. BBC/Silverprint Pictures/Mark Mainz

The BBC Two drama announced in July last year that Henshall would be quitting the show after starring as DI Jimmy Perez since 2013, with the actor saying that he wanted to give Perez a "satisfactory end".

In November, After Life's Ashley Jensen was confirmed as his replacement, joining the drama as DI Ruth Calder, a native Shetlander who returns to the isles after working for the Metropolitan Police in London for two decades.

Speaking about her new role, Jensen told that Ruth is "quite reluctant to get back" to Shetland after leaving at a very young age when she was "desperate to get away".

"I've read the first two scripts and they're wonderful, they're very good, very character based and I'm very excited about doing it," she added.

Meanwhile, Henshall added that fans can expect Ruth to be a "very different" character to Perez and that Jensen is "a great actor".

"So, I mean, I think it will be interesting to have two women leading up this detective show on the isles and see what that brings."

All the biggest exclusives from the Radio Times Covers Party:

Additional reporting by Abby Robinson.

Look out for exclusive photos and chats from the Radio Times Covers Party in next week's issue of Radio Times magazine, on sale Tuesday 7th February.

Shetland season 8 will air on BBC One, while season 7 is available on BBC iPlayer. Ann Cleeves's Shetland novels are available to buy now.

Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find something else to watch.


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