Virdee – cast update as Staz Nair takes the lead role

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The Bradford based crime series, based on the books of AA Dhand, was originally to star Sacha Dhawan. 

The BBC has announced casting for Virdee, its new crime thriller. The six-part series, adapted for the screen by AA Dhand from his own novels, will now feature Staz Nair (Rebel Moon) as Detective Harry Virdee. Sacha Dhawan was to front the show, but has reportedly stepped away due to a scheduling conflict.

Here’s the synopsis for Virdee:

Set and filmed in Bradford, Virdee follows Detective Harry Virdee (Staz Nair), a cop disowned by his Sikh family for marrying Saima (Aysha Kala), who is Muslim. Harry struggles with the abandonment and now with his young son, Aaron, growing up and asking questions, thinks it might be time to attempt to reunite with his family. His personal life in chaos, he must now hunt down a serial killer targeting the Asian community.

When the murderer kidnaps a local police chief’s son and holds the entire city to ransom, Harry realises that he is going to need the help of his brother-in-law Riaz, a drugs kingpin who runs the largest cartel in the county. Pulled together in an alliance that could ruin them both, Harry must make a choice: save himself and his family or save his city. He will not be able to do both.

The cast

Virdee cast: Staz Nair, Aysha Kala, Vikash Bhai, Nina Singh, Kulvinder Ghir & Sudha Bhuchar

L-R – Top row: Staz Nair (Image: courtesy of Waring McKenna), Aysha Kala (Image: Ori Jones), Vikash Bhai (Image: Faye Thomas). Bottom row: Nina Singh (Image: Jake Stewart), Kulvinder Ghir (Image: Blandine Martin), Sudha Bhuchar (Image: Harry Elletsson).

Nair and Kala are joined in the show by Nina Singh (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry) plays Tara Virdee, Harry’s niece and a keen crime reporter, with Vikash Bhai (Crossfire) as Harry’s brother-in-law Riaz Hyatt. Kulvinder Ghir (Foundation) and Sudha Bhuchar (Expats) will play Harry Virdee’s parents, Ranjit and Jyoti.

Elizabeth Berrington (Good Omens) also appears  as DS Clare Conway and Danyal Ismail will play DS Amin.

The wider cast includes Tomi May, Andi Jashy, Hussina Raja, Ashkay Kumar, Madiha Ansari, Jason Patel, Conor Lowson and Rupert Procter.

On playing Harry Virdee, Staz Nair says:

“It’s an absolute honour to be taking on this vibrant and complex story about assimilating culture and what we’re willing to do to protect who and what we love. This show leads with vulnerability more than any detective drama I’ve ever seen, and it’s a privilege to be bringing AA Dhand’s hope for his city to life.”

Virdee is adapted for the screen by AA Dhand and directed by Mark Tonderai (Doctor Who, Foundation).  The series is a Magical Society production for BBC One and BBC iPlayer in association with Screen Yorkshire. Virdee’s executive producers are Paul Trijbits (for Magical Society), AA Dhand, and Jo McClellan for the BBC.

We’ll keep you posted on Virdee.