It was announced earlier in 2022 that Sinéad Keenan would be replacing Nicola Walker as the new lead for season 5 of Unforgotten – and now fans have been given a first look at her new character DCI Jessica ‘Jessie’ James.


The image was first shared by TV Zone and although it doesn't give too much away, it shows Jessie – wearing an all-black outfit – standing alongside Sanjeev Bhaskar's popular returning character DI Sunil ‘Sunny’ Khan as they look moodily into the camera.

According to ITV, the new season – for which an air date has not yet been revealed – will begin just before DCI James starts her new job, offering "a devastating introduction to her family life".

The series will then see her desperately attempt to make a good impression on her new colleagues as she tries to replace the big shoes left by Cassie Stuart, after the latter's tragic death in the season 4 finale.

And of course, there's the small matter of a major new case to crack – this time concerning the discovery of human remains in a newly renovated period property in Hammersmith.

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Back when her casting was announced in March, BAFTA-nominated Keenan said: "I have long been an admirer of Chris Lang’s work so I am absolutely delighted to be joining the Unforgotten team.

"I’m very much looking forward to working with the extraordinary cast led by the brilliant and incredibly lovely Sanjeev Bhaskar. And I’m hoping that if I play my cards right I might even get to take a peek in Sunny’s backpack!”

Sinéad Keenan and Sanjeev Bhaskar at a read through for Unforgotten. ITV

She's not the only new face joining the cast for the upcoming season too, with other additions including Rhys Yates (The Outlaws) as Jay, Martina Laird (Summerland, The Bay) as Bele, Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones, Derry Girls) as Tony, and Max Rinehart (Jekyll and Hyde, Miss You Already) as Karol.

Meanwhile, returning cast members include Jordan Long as DS Murray Boulting, Carolina Main as DC Fran Lingley, Georgia Mackenzie as pathologist Dr Leanne Balcombe, Michelle Bonnard as Sunny’s partner Sal, and Pippa Nixon as DC Kaz Willetts.

On Saturday, the show's creator Chris Lang revealed on Twitter: "So we finally finished production on S5 of @Unforgotten last week. All that is left to be done now is for it to be wrapped and tied with a bow, and then it'll be delivered to you in the new year. It's close team, it's so close."

Unforgotten season 5 will come to ITV1 and ITVX in 2023, and all four previous seasons are currently available to stream on ITVX.

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