Why did Douglas Henshall leave Shetland as Jimmy Perez?

Shetland returns for season eight with a new six-part tale as Met detective Ruth Calder (played by Ashley Jensen) returns to the Isles on the trail of a vulnerable witness.

The newcomer teams up with Tosh (Alison O’Donnell) on a case that will test their fragile, new partnership.

DI Ruth Calder is taking the lead on the much-loved Scottish series just one year after Douglas Henshall announced he would be leaving his role as DI Jimmy Perez.

OK! has everything you need to know about why Douglas quit and who is replacing him.

Why did Douglas Henshall leave Shetland as Jimmy Perez?

Douglas Henshall explained he would be leaving Shetland at the end of its seventh series in August 2022.

He said in a statement: "After series five of Shetland, David Kane and I decided we wanted to do two more series to complete the story of Jimmy Perez.

"So series six and seven were commissioned together to give us time to wrap up Perez's story to a satisfactory end.

"It’s been one of the privileges of my career to play Jimmy Perez for almost ten years and to work with so many wonderful people both in front of and behind the camera, and also to spend so much time in Shetland.

"The Isles were so much a part of our show and of Perez himself. I’ll miss him and the place. I wish everyone involved much luck with whatever happens next."

Douglas made the decision to pursue other opportunities and has already appeared in Netflix hit Who Is Erin Carter?

The actor also explained he was "sick of being the good guy".

He shared: "I think it was always going to be sad, but it will be nice to play somebody who isn’t so irredeemably good as Perez.

“I’ll miss him as a person I crawl into every now and again because I liked him, he’s a nice man.”

Who is replacing Douglas Henshall?

Ashley Jensen is stepping into Douglas' shoes as the new detective in Shetland – DI Ruth Calder.

The Met detective has been away from the Isles for 30 years but returns hot on the trail of Ellen Quinn (Maisie Norma Seaton) – the scared witness to a London gangland murder.

Describing her character, actress Ashley said: "She’s formidable, she’s strong, she’s a woman in a man’s world. Ruth Calder’s built this little barricade around herself – she’s almost like an island herself.

"However, she’s very much an urban detective and is resentfully drawn back to Shetland. This case makes her confront herself, her past and the things that pulled her away from her home in the first place.

"Her resentment all stems from her history with the Shetland Isles and why she left all those years ago. It’s not that she doesn’t want to be there, the issue is she’ll need to face the past she left behind.

"Ruth doesn’t expect to be in Shetland for very long – she comes with a tiny wee case and she hasn’t packed her hair straighteners."

Shetland airs tonight on BBC One at 9pm

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