Sanjeev Bhaskar reading scripts with new Unforgotten co-star Sinead Keenan
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Unforgotten season 5 introduces Sinéad Keenan as Nicola Walker’s replacement

Little Boy Blue actress plays DCI Jessica 'Jessie' James

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Unforgotten is back with season 5 – and Sinéad Keenan replaces Nicola Walker as the female lead.

Fans of the ITV crime drama were devastated as Nicola’s much-loved character Cassie was killed off at the end of season 4.

Sinead Keenan in Little Boy Blue
New Unforgotten star Sinéad Keenan as Mel Jones in ITV drama Little Boy Blue (Credit: ITV)

The casting of Sinéad will doubtless reassure Unforgotten viewers that the critically acclaimed show will return at the top of its game.

Dublin-born Sinéad – BAFTA-nominated for her breath-taking role as Melanie Jones in ITV’s Little Boy Blue – begins filming her new role later this month.

Alongside her will be Sanjeev Bhaskar, reprising his role as DI Sunil ‘Sunny’ Khan.

Nicola Walker in Unforgotten
DCI Jessica James replaces DCI Cassie Stuart in Unforgotten (Credit: ITV)

Sinéad says: “I have long been an admirer of Chris Lang’s work so I am absolutely delighted to be joining the Unforgotten team.

“I’m very much looking forward to working with the extraordinary cast led by the brilliant and incredibly lovely, Sanjeev Bhaskar.

“And I’m hoping that if I play my cards right I might even get to take a peek in Sunny’s backpack!”

Sanjeev Bhaskar reading scripts with new Unforgotten co-star Sinead Keenan
Sanjeev Bhaskar reading scripts with new Unforgotten co-star Sinéad Keenan (Credit: ITV)

Writer Chris Lang adds: “And so it begins, a new Unforgotten journey – and it’s scary, for Sunny and the Bishop Street team, for the audience, for all of us.

“But it’s also very, very, exciting, and I cannot wait for you to meet DCI Jessica ‘Jessie’ James, played by the always brilliant, Sinéad Keenan.”

How is DCI Jessica James introduced?

According to ITV, the clock is ticking down to DCI James’s first day in her new job with an unforeseen and devastating introduction to her family life.

Determined to make a good first impression with her new colleagues, will she be in the right frame of mind to deliver and inspire the team?

And how will the ghost of much-loved former colleague Cassie Stuart haunt her?

Does she have the resolve, professionalism and spirit to live up to her much-admired and respected predecessor?

Read more: Nicola Walker stars in new crime drama Amika

Sanjeev and Unforgotten fans mourned the loss of Cassie
Sanjeev Bhaskar returns with some other familiar faces (Credit: ITV)

What happens in Unforgotten season 5?

Jess’s first case is the discovery of human remains in a newly renovated period property in Hammersmith, London.

But how long have they been there and is this a murder dating back to the 1930s?

Or has the body been disposed of in more recent times?

As the murder mystery unfolds, the detectives explore the lives of several central characters – Jay, Bele, Tony, Karol and Emma.

Read more: Nicola Walker leaves Sanjeev Bhaskar in tears with leaving gift

Unforgotten season 5 guest cast

Also joining Unforgotten for the new series are: Rhys Yates (Silent Witness) playing Jay; Martina Laird (The Bay) as Bele; Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones, Derry Girls) as Tony; Max Rinehart (Jekyll and Hyde) as Karol.

Hayley Mills plays Tony’s wife Emma.

Returning to the investigation team are Jordan Long as DS Murray Boulting and Carolina Main as DC Fran Lingley.

Also back are Georgia Mackenzie as pathologist Dr Leanne Balcombe, Michelle Bonnard as Sunny’s partner, Sal and Pippa Nixon as DC Kaz Willets.

Sanjeev Bhaskar as DI Sunil 'Sunny' Khan in Unforgotten
Sanjeev Bhaskar begins filming Unforgotten season 5 with cast mates old and new later in March 2022 (Credit: ITV)

When is Unforgotten season 5 on?

As the show only starts filming later this month, don’t expect it to broadcast any time soon on ITV.

But hopefully Unforgotten season 5 will make it to screen either by the end of 2022 or by early 2023.

We’ll keep you posted on dates as soon as there is more information from ITV.

Do you think Unforgotten has found the perfect replacement in Sinéad Keenan? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know.