Line of Duty and Bodyguard creator launches new crime drama Bloodlands tracking hunt for legendary assassin

THE BBC's new crime drama Bloodlands follows the hunt for a legendary assassin plaguing Northern Ireland – and has pedigree talent behind it.

The cold case crime series is written by newbie Chris Brandon and produced by Jed Mercurio, the brains behind Line of Duty and Bodyguard.

James Nesbitt – who was raised in County Down, where the show is set – is confirmed for lead character detective Tom Brannick.

The series follows the detective on a cat-and-mouse game after he discovers a possible suicide note in a car pulled out of Strangford Lough.

It connects to a cold case in his past with huge personal significance – and a hunt for a legendary assassin.

James Nesbitt said of the role: "It's great to be back making a drama in and about Northern Ireland, which now has a film and television industry as any in the world.

"We have compelling scripts from a brilliant young writer who was raised in County Down, which are very exciting and psychologically complex. I can't wait to start."

Writer Chris Brand said: "I'm absolutely delighted that the first opportunity I get to tell a story on this scale, it is one that is so close to home and the people and places that raised me.

"On top of that, to be telling it with James Nesbitt, Jed Mercurio and the incredible team at HTM is a total privilege."

Jed added: "It's been incredibly rewarding discover Chris Brandon's work and to witness the development of an outstanding new voice in contemporary television thriller writing, added to which everyone at HTM Television is honoured an actor of James Nesbitt's brilliance will star in our debut production."

Line of Duty is a huge hit for the BBC and its sixth series is currently in production.

Meanwhile, award-winning Bodyguard peaked at 11million viewers of the finale live on BBC One alone.

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