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Channel 5 announces all-star cast for new police drama Suspects.

Fay Ripley

Channel 5’s has announced Fay Ripley, Damien Molony and Clare-Hope Ashitey will lead the cast for new improvised crime drama, Suspects (formerly titled Evidence).

The ten-episode series co-created and Executive-Produced by Paul Marquess (Footballers’ Wives, Hollyoaks), and Newman Street Productions (part of FremantleMedia UK), will see the dialogue being improvised by the actors – and the use of filming techniques and a directorial approach usually associated with factual programming and fly-on-the-wall documentaries.

The series focuses on a team of three detectives and their distinctive approaches to the job of policing.  Each of the ten episodes tells a discrete, self-contained crime story.  The episodes start with a news report, then follow the detectives as they investigate the circumstances of the crime, collate and analyse the evidence, and interview their suspects – until they finally identify and charge the perpetrator. The cases themselves are hard-hitting and contemporary – ranging from the disappearance of a soldier with PTSD to the hunt for a serial rapist.  The team also investigates the shooting of a popular clergyman and a gang of sex traffickers who prey on teenage girls.

Fay Ripley (Cold Feet, Reginald Perrin) will play D.I. Martha Bellamy. Witty and warm, Martha fiercely protects her team – and she’s exactly the kind of cop you want knocking on your door when your world has been turned upside down.


Damien Molony (Being Human, Ripper Street) will play D.S. Jack Weston, whose easy charm belies his killer gut instinct.  Jack is a man of action – coupled with acute emotional intelligence.

Finally, Clare-Hope Ashitey (Children Of Men, Top Boy) will be D.C. Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Steele, who has a keen eye for detail and whip-smart instincts which help her cut to the heart of any investigation.  Passionate yet level headed, Charlie believes the police can make a real difference…

Fay Ripley comments on starring in Suspects and working without a script: “I have shied away from playing cops for years, but I have always wanted to work on the right cop show. The whole method of filming [Suspects] brings to it a sense of reality, so I am playing myself as a cop, rather than playing someone else’s telly version of me.  We all feel like we’re in this new and exciting thing together, we are all allowed to pitch in – which you rarely are as an actor – so it definitely is handing us something that we are not normally handed.  It’s all up for grabs.”

Paul Marquess, Managing Director, Newman Street says: “Working without a script means that you need actors who are confident, intelligent and articulate.  Fay, Clare and Damien have wholeheartedly embraced this very new process; the results have a spontaneity about them that is fresh, engaging and hugely watchable. “

Suspects will air on the channel in early 2014.