Shetland star Alison O’Donnell has spoken about her heartbreak and said she was ‘honestly bereft’ to learn Douglas Henshall was quitting the BBC blockbuster crime drama.
The Glasgow-born actor, 56, has starred as DI Jimmy Perez in the murder mystery since 2013, adapted from the award-winning novels by crime writer Ann Cleeves.
The Primeval star has appeared in six seasons of the thriller and will make his final performance as Jimmy in the seventh series, which will premiere in September.
The decision has saddened his co-star Alison O’Donnell, who plays Detective Sergeant Alison ‘Tosh’ McIntosh said working with the Outlander actor was ‘an insane luxury.’
She added: ‘I’m trying to be grateful for everything we experienced together rather than focusing on the obvious sadness.
‘I’m also incredibly proud of what we achieved together, and I know he is too.’
Over the course of Shetland, which landed on our screens nearly a decade ago, Jimmy, who moved to the titular Scottish island to start a new life with his young daughter, has instead ended up investigating more than his fair share of murders and grisly crimes.
Last month, Douglas revealed he would be retiring the role to explore other acting projects, but called his time on the show as ‘one of the privileges of my career.’
He added: ‘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.’
In the latest season of Shetland, Motherwell-born Alison also teased viewers they can expect ‘twists and high-octane drama.’
The Holby City actress revealed: ‘It’s not to be missed. Our guest cast is absolutely outstanding, as ever, and there are some big moments for the core cast too, with Perez’s ending and another series regular being thrown into serious jeopardy.’
Shetland will return to screens for the seventh season on Wednesday, August 10 at 9pm on BBC One.