Incoming Shetland star Ashley Jensen has teased that her brand new lead detective DI Ruth Calder will shake things up when she arrives on the Scottish islands for the show's eighth season.


Jensen was confirmed as the replacement for the outgoing Douglas Henshall in November 2022, and speaking exclusively to at the Radio Times Covers Party she discussed how having a female lead detective might change things in the future.

"Well, it's gonna bring a whole new dynamic to everyone else, actually," she explained.

"And it's kind of almost more about the other people – about how Alison (Alison O’Donnell) and all the other characters are going to relate to Ruth Calder, so that'll be really interesting."

She also revealed that she had already spoken to her predecessor Henshall – who played previous lead detective DI Jimmy Perez in the first seven seasons of the show – and although he hadn't given her specific advice about the series, he did have one important tip for her.

"I'm very excited," she said. "I've just met Dougie and I've had a conversation with him and he's told me the best fish and chip shop on Shetland. So, that's exciting!"

Calder has been described as a native Shetlander who returns to the isles after 20 years working for the Met Police in London, and it's been revealed that she will be working closely with Alison O’Donnell's DS Alison ‘Tosh’ McIntosh.

On originally being cast in the series, Jensen said: "I am absolutely thrilled to be joining Shetland as DI Ruth Calder. It’s such a hugely successful show and I am aware I have very big boots to fill since the departure of DI Perez, who was very much loved by fans of the show."

Additional reporting by Abby Robinson.

All the biggest exclusives from the Radio Times Covers Party:

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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