Murder Island: Release date and latest news around Channel 4’s murder mystery competition

Everything you need to know about the Channel 4 murder mystery competition written by Ian Rankin.

Parm with Graham McMillan and Simon Harding.

Murder mystery meets reality TV on Channel 4’s new TV show, Murder Island.

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The six-part series, which kicks off this October, will see contestants become detectives in a specially-curated crime thriller.

While split into pairs, eight players will try to solve a murder mystery on the Scottish island of Gigha, written by renowned crime novelist Ian Rankin.

They’ll have just a week to work on the case,  with £50,000 up fo grabs for those who manage to solve the crime or impress the senior investigating officers, who’ll be watching their every move as they look for Murder Island’s first ever winners.

Speaking to Radio Times magazine about the show, Ian Rankin said that he was initially hesitant to take the challenge on. “It’s such a dangerous thing to try to do, it’s mad! But it stretched me in all kinds of ways because this isn’t normally the way I operate.

“It was a challenge but a really entertaining one, and it kept me sane in the first few months of the year when we were still in lockdown.”

So, when does it start? Who are the contestants turned detectives? And what’s the case?

Read on for everything we know so far about Murder Island.

Murder Island release date

Murder Island begins on Tuesday 5th October at 9:30pm on Channel 4.

The six-part series will air weekly from then onwards.

What is Murder Island?

Murder Island
Channel 4

Murder Island is a reality competition in which eight contestants become amateur detectives for a week whilst trying to solve a murder mystery written by successful novelist Ian Rankin (who is best know for his Inspector Rebus series).

“The civilian ‘detectives’ will have police resources at their disposal — pathologists, forensic scientists, psychologists etc,” Channel 4 teases.

“They will be competing to see if they can be the first to identify the suspect and bring them to justice.”

At the start of the murder mystery scenario, the contestants will find the body of Charly Hendricks at a rundown property she had been renting from the local landlord, and must find forensic clues to work out exactly who she is.

Throughout the week, the contestants will be watched by senior investigating officers, who’ll be offering their expert advice and picking out potential errors they’ve made.

Whichever pair manages to solve the murder and arrest the culprit first will win a prize of £50,000.

Who are the Murder Island characters?

See a list below of all the Murder Island characters including the victim Charly Hendricks and all the suspects:

  • Charly Hendricks – Victim
  • Hamish Gowdie – suspect
  • Jean Grant – suspect
  • Tony Slade – suspect
  • Sonya Sisoulou – suspect
  • Freddie Forrester – suspect
  • Ishbel Corrie – suspect
  • Logan Corrie – suspect
  • Alicia Devere – suspect

Where is Murder Island filmed?

Murder Island was filmed on the Scottish island of Gigha over the summer of 2021.

The island, which is found off the west coast of Kintyre, has a population of just 163 people and is home to an abundance of wildlife.

Who are the Murder Island police experts?

Murder Island
Parm Sandhu with Graham McMillan and Simon Harding.
Channel 4

Throughout the series, the contestants are watched over by senior investigating officer Parm Sandhu – a former Chief Superintendent with the Met Police, author and broadcaster.

She is joined by her deputies Simon Harding, a former Detective Chief Inspector with the Met Police who now runs a Specialist Crime Consulting Group, and Graham McMillan, a Detective Sergeant with the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit.

Speaking about her role on the show, Sandhu said in an interview: “I was a bit of a meanie. I was the senior investigating officer (SIO). I was in charge of everybody and my two detective colleagues had to answer to me as well. So when the amateur detectives were putting their pictures together, they had to come and brief me and tell me all what they’d got and where they thought it was going to lead.

“Ultimately, the decision to remove amateur detectives from the island was mine. Right from the outset there was a stand-off. When we arrived off the boat on the Marina a couple of them said, ‘Oh, she looks mean.'”

Murder Island contestants

The Murder Island detectives includes four pairs.

Sarah and Richmond

Murder Island contestants Sarah and Richmond
Murder Island contestants Sarah and Richmond
Channel 4

Engaged couple Sarah, 28, and Richmond, 30, are super competitive and are hoping to crack the case. Richmond’s strengths lie in being able to read someone’s character, saying he can often catch a liar out by looking at their body language. Having studied criminology, Sarah will be hoping to put theory into practice. Together, they say they work well as a team, truly understanding one another and in Sarah’s words their “brains are connected.”

Andrew and Nick

Murder Island contestants Andrew and Nick
Murder Island contestants Andrew and Nick
Channel 4

Brothers-in-law Andrew, 28, and Nick, 33, have known each other for their entire lives, as their parents are friends and Nick is now married to Andrew’s sister.

For Andrew, taking part in Murder Island is an opportunity to prove to his father that he could have been a detective; it’s a chance to make him proud. The pair also believe they may be massively underestimated and labelled as ‘The Posh Kids’ – something they’re ready to  debunk. In Andrew’s words, “underestimate us at your peril.”

Chrissie and Caroline

Murder Island contestants Chrissie and Caroline
Murder Island contestants Chrissie and Caroline
Channel 4

Chrissie, 77, and Caroline, 64, are next door neighbours from Staffordshire.  The pair liken themselves to Miss Marple and will channel their inner Vera to get to the bottom of anything. Caroline’s big personality and Chrissie’s measured demeanour are the perfect combination for this double act.

Dot and Rox

Murder Island contestants Dot and Rox
Murder Island contestants Dot and Rox
Channel 4

Best friends Dot, 22, and Rox, 24, have always been interested in anything that needs solving. The duo even practice their amateur sleuthing on their own sisters. This love for sniffing out injustice has inspired them to educate themselves and they want Murder Island to fast-track a career change.

Murder Island trailer

Channel 4 is yet to release a full-length trailer for Murder Island – but we’ll update this page as and when a clip surfaces.

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Murder Island begins on Tuesday 5th October at 9:30pm on Channel 4. Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide or visit our Entertainment hub for the latest news.