UKTV’s catalogue of original drama continues to grow, with the latest commission of The Red King (6×60’) for leading crime drama channel Alibi, which is currently filming in the North East.

The six-part series is created and written by Toby Whithouse (Being Human, The Game) and produced by Quay Street Productions, in association with ITV Studios, which will handle international distribution, and supported by North East Screen.

Filming starts today and features a star-studded line up with Anjli Mohindra (The Lazarus Project, Vigil) playing Grace Narayan, Adjoa Andoh (Bridgerton, Queen Charlotte) as Lady Heather Nancarrowand Marc Warren (Van Der Valk) as Dr Ian Prideaux.

Further cast include Jill Halfpenny (The Long Shadow, Everything I Know About Love) as Ann Fletcher, Mark Lewis Jones (Keeping Faith) as Gruffudd Prosser, Oliver Ryan (Steeltown Murders, Pennyworth) as Mihangel Pugh, Sam Swainsbury (Mum, Fisherman’s Friend) as Father Douglas Carrisford, Lu Corfield (Showtrial) as Lowri Bain, James Bamford (Luther: The Fallen Sun) as Owen Parry and Maeve Courtier-Lilley (The Outpost) as Winter Bain.

Toby Whithouse said: “Working with Quay Street and UKTV has been a genuine joy. This has been a passion project for all of us. A genre bending mystery, combining drama, suspense and horror, starring some of the best actors in television. We’re so excited to share these characters and their stories with you.”

Smart, capable and by the book Grace Narayan (Mohindra) was flying high as an inner-city police sergeant before being forced into a ‘punishment posting’ on the small, antiquated island of St. Jory. Confronted by the forgotten and unsolved case of missing teenage boy Cai, Grace quickly discovers that she must overcome scarce evidence, extraordinary local characters, and the island’s strange cult history to uncover the truth.

The Red King is a character-driven mystery-thriller, that combines the powerful story of a knotty police investigation with chilling, atmospheric folk-horror through the island’s eerie past devotion to a pagan God called the Red King and the cult of the True Way.

The UKTV Original series has been commissioned by Philippa Collie Cousins, senior commissioning editor, with Pete Thornton, head of scripted, and ordered for Alibi by Emma Ayech, channel director, and Hilary Rosen, director of commissioning. Executive producers are Nicola Shindler (Nolly, It’s A Sin, Stay Close) and Davina Earl (Men Up, Safe, Come Home) for Quay Street Productions (part of ITV Studios), Philippa Collie Cousins for UKTV and Toby Whithouse. The series will be directed by Daniel O’Hara (Stay Close, The Stranger, Brassic), who is also executive producer, and produced by Guy Hescott (Without Sin, Whitstable Pearl).  

Hilary Rosen said: “Toby Whithouse has created a clever and ambitious crime drama set in a vivid island location, and this dark and original tale will have audiences gripped. We are delighted to be collaborating once again with Nicola Shindler and her fantastic team at Quay Street Productions.”

Emma Ayech added: “We’re so excited to be working with the team at Quay Street Productions on this brilliant new series. The ensemble cast will perfectly bring the story to life, making this a fantastic addition to our growing portfolio of UKTV Original dramas on Alibi.”

Davina Earl, Executive Producer, Quay Street Productions said: “The Red King has been such an exciting project to bring to the screen, working with the team at UKTV. Toby Whithouse has a wonderfully distinctive voice, and his scripts are deeply intriguing, darkly funny and truly scary. The cast are a stellar mix of some of our most well-known and beloved actors. Plus, we get to showcase the North East as we create this compelling and atmospheric drama, which, as a North Easterner, is incredibly rewarding.”

The Red King is the latest UKTV Original for Alibi and will air in 2024. Other original dramas include The Diplomat, produced by World Productions, and Annika, which stars Nicola Walker and will return to Alibi for a second series later this year.

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