Shetland series 8, episode 1 cast: Meet the new detective DI Ruth Calder

Following DI Jimmy Perez's (played by Douglas Henshall) decision to leave Shetland at the end of series seven, there's a new detective in town.

Ashley Jensen has joined the cast of the BBC show as DI Ruth Calder and will be working closely with Jimmy's old colleagues, including side-kick Tosh.

Ahead of the first episode, OK! takes a look at who is in the cast of Shetland series 8, episode 1.

Who is in Shetland series 8, episode 1 cast?

DI Ruth Calder – Ashley Jensen

Ruth Calder is "formidable, she’s strong, she’s a woman in a man’s world".

Describing her character, Ashley teased: "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."

Ruth is played by Ashley Jensen who is instantly recognisable from her roles in Ugly Betty as Christina McKinney, Mayflies as Anna, After Life as Emma and Agatha Raisin as the title character.

Ashley, 54, has one son from her marriage to Terence Beesley.

DI Alison ‘Tosh’ McIntosh – Alison O’Donnell

Returning for series 8 is Alison O'Donnell as Tosh, a much-loved member of the Shetland police team.

Following Jimmy's exit, Tosh has stepped into the role of DI at the Lerwick police station. It's only on a temporary basis however, as for practical reasons she isn't able, or perhaps doesn't want, to make it official.

Alison is married to Daniel Jackson and they have two children.

She is best known for roles in short film Do No Harm, and made an appearance in Holby City.

DC Sandy Wilson – Steven Robertson

DC Sandy has been a recurring character in Shetland since series one and is a kind man who cares about his family and friends.

He has extensive knowledge of Shetland having grown up there and is always on hand to help his colleagues.

Actor Steven is best known for his role in Inside I'm Dancing and as Dominic Rook in Being Human.

Sgt Billy McCabe – Lewis Howden

Billy McCabe is also a key member of the police team in Shetland and appeared in seven series so far.

Actor Lewis has also appeared in Annika, The Harrowing, Taggart and Hope Springs.

Cora McLean – Anne Kidd

Cora McLean is a medical doctor working in Lerwick and is used by the Shetland police as an unofficial Crime Scene Investigator.

She gives preliminary details about bodies without the police team having to coat for the forensic team based on the mainland in Aberdeen.

Anne Kidd has also made appearances in Trust Me, Outlander, Nobody Has To Know, and Retribution.

John Howell – Don Gilet

Not much is known about John Howell but they are set to be a main character in the new series.

Don Gilet, 56, is well-known and is perhaps best known for his role as Lucas Johnson in EastEnders.

He's also starred in The Sandman, Broke, The Doll Maker, The Lock and Holby City as Jesse Law.

Shetland airs tonight on BBC One at 9pm.

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