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Unforgotten season 5: Release date speculation, cast and latest news

Sinéad Keenan has joined the cast of Unforgotten season 5. **CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR UNFORGOTTEN SEASON 4**

Published: Wednesday, 23rd March 2022 at 5:12 pm

Following Unforgotten’s tragic season 4 finale – and the death of DCI Cassie Stewart (Nicola Walker) – the crime drama is returning to ITV for another instalment.

And now it’s been revealed who will be replacing Walker in season 5, with Sinéad Keenan (Showtrial, Little Blue Boy) taking over the reins.


The actress joins the Unforgotten cast, led by actor Sanjeev Chaska as DI Sunny Khan.

During a chat with, the Chaska discussed what we can expect from Unforgotten season 5 following the shocking events of the last run.

The story will pick up not long after the end of the last story," he said. "So there is a connection to that story."

He added that he felt "very privileged" to be a part of the crime drama.

"Chris Lang, who has written all of them, has written this one," he added. "So yeah, it's very exciting reading the scripts, a bit weird not to see Nicola's character there, but I saw Nicola two, three times, I suppose, in the last couple of months, over Christmas. So we keep in touch a lot anyway."

Bhaskar added: "Given that in series 1, I and nobody else had any idea of how this would work out in terms of, you know, the castings and the writing the directing, I go into series 5 with a lot of faith in whoever's coming in.

"And the actors that will come in, will be cast as they have in the previous four. So you know, that calibre of people is very exciting to work alongside and work opposite and work with. And it keeps me on my toes.”

Here's everything we know so far about Unforgotten's fifth series, who'll be returning to the cast and what will happen in the new season.

Unforgotten season 5 release date speculation

ITV has not yet announced when Unforgotten's fifth series will arrive on our screens – but hopefully, we won't have to wait as long as we did for season four.

Before series four, each series took roughly a year and a half to land on ITV, with series one, two and three airing in 2015, 2017 and 2018 respectively. However, there was a huge gap of two and half years between series three and four, which was partly down to filming delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Taking previous series into account, we predict that Unforgotten could be back on our screens by September/October 2022 – as long as COVID-19 doesn't wreak havoc with production plans.

In a tweet posted in July 2021, creator Chris Lang revealed that he was back writing Unforgotten season five – while eagle-eyed characters might spot a reference to a character named "Faith". Could that be the name of the Unforgotten replacement for Nicola Walker?

In a previous tweet, the broadcaster ITV thanked Nicola Walker for her work on the show, before adding: "Nicola and writer Chris Lang decided that Cassie's story would come to an end last night, but that Unforgotten would continue, in series five, with a new case, and a new 'Partner in Crime' for DI Sunny Khan."

Sanjeev Bhaskar, who stars as DI Sunny Khan in the series, said he was "delighted" to hear of Unforgotten's recommission, writing on Twitter: "I'll continue to watch and learn from #NicolaWalker as I've done these past five years, glowing with pride as my friend excels in everything she does. She's a personal and national treasure."

Unforgotten season 5 cast

Sinead Keenan in Showtrial
Sinead Keenan in Showtrial BBC

The Kumars at No. 42's Sanjeev Bhaskar will return as much-loved DI Sunil 'Sunny' Khan in series four.

Sadly, Walker won’t be back after her character DCI Cassie Stuart met a tragic end at the close of series four.

Walker will be replaced by Sinéad Keenan, who will star in Unforgotten as new character DCI Jessica James.

In an interview with TV Insider, Walker recently revealed that killing off her character had been the plan since season 3.

"We talked a lot after Season 3 about where it was going to go, and it was a joint decision. I think the clues were there in Season 3," she said.

"The title of the show is Unforgotten and I think there's a great deal of narrative beauty to this woman. She's not going to be forgotten. I felt like she was quietly very unusual on television because she was a real person."

Other returning cast members include Jordan Long (DS Murray Boulting), Lewis Reeves (DC Jake Collier), Carolina Main (DS Fran Lingley), Georgia Mackenzie (Dr. Leanne Balcombe) and Pippa Nixon (DC Karen Willetts), who will reprise their roles as Sunny's police colleagues in the upcoming series, while Sunny's now-fiancé Sal (Michelle Bonnard) will also make an appearance.

It's unclear whether we're likely to see Cassie's dad Martin (Peter Egan), her son Adam (Jassa Ahluwalia), her partner John (Alastair Mackenzie) or Martin's partner Jenny (Janet Dibley) after Cassie's death – but perhaps they'll pop by the station to pay Sunny a visit?

There's also no news yet regarding new cast members playing the suspects, the victims and the relatives involved in Sunny's latest case. However judging by the stellar line-ups we've seen in the seasons before, and the huge success of series four, we're expecting high-profile actors to be clambering for these roles.

Unforgotten season 5 plot

Unforgotten season 4
Unforgotten season 4 ITV

Unforgotten season 5 will kick off with the clock ticking down to DCI Jess' (Keenan) first day in her new job.

An ITV preview revealed: "Determined to make a good first impression with her new colleagues, will Jess be in the right frame of mind to deliver and inspire the team?

"And inevitably how will the ghost of much-loved former colleague Cassie Stuart haunt her? After all, Cassie will be big shoes for her to fill. Does she have the resolve, professionalism and spirit to live up to her much-admired and respected predecessor?

"Jess’s first case is the discovery of human remains in a newly renovated period property in Hammersmith, London. But how long have they been there and is this a murder dating back to the 1930’s or has the body been disposed of in more recent times?"

What happened at the end of Unforgotten season 4?

Unforgotten season 4
Unforgotten season 4 ITV

**Spoiler warning: Do NOT read this unless you have seen the Unforgotten series 4 finale**

In a dramatic series finale, we finally learned that Dean Barton (real name Dean Quinn) had murdered Matthew Walsh in the 1990s. While Ram Sidhu (Phaldut Sharma) had recognised Matthew as the person who'd beaten him up and sexually assaulted Fiona (Liz White) a few weeks prior and began chasing him, it was Dean who was the first to find Matthew, who'd tripped in an allotment and hit his head on a short brick wall, knocking himself out.

Dean – who had tried to escape his family connections to crime by changing his last name and training as a police officer – recognised Walsh as the rival gang member who'd killed his supportive older brother Stephen and decided to avenge his death, stabbing Walsh through his wound with an engraved fountain pen he'd been given by his brother.

While Dean was arrested over Walsh's death, expectant father Ram was likely to face prison time after being charged with preventing the lawful burial of a body (alongside Liz and Fiona), as well as his involvement in Dean's cocaine smuggling operation. Fiona was facing an additional charge over her fake therapy license, while Liz had to resign from the police force due to her charges.

Despite the team's success in finding Walsh's murderer, the finale ended on a tragic note, with DCI Cassie Stewart's surgery revealing that she'd sustained serious brain damage following her car crash and was unlikely to make a full recovery. We later learn of her death, with Sunny delivering a eulogy at her funeral and visiting her grave with flowers.


All four series of Unforgotten are available to stream on ITV Player. Visit our TV Guide to discover what else you can watch tonight, or find all the latest news on our Drama hub.


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