Unforgotten stars Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar tell Georgia Humphreys about emotive storylines, new challenges, and keeping secrets.

Some TV dramas never quite live up to the hype of their successful first series. But, with Unforgotten, that is far from the case.

The fourth series of the Bafta-winning ITV crime drama is as gripping as ever.

Written by Chris Lang, the six new episodes see DCI Cassie Stuart (Nicola Walker) and DI Sunny Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar) taking on another emotionally-charged cold case murder. This time, it’s the discovery of a dismembered body in a scrap metal yard, which the team believes has been stored in a domestic freezer for 30 years.

This series, Cassie is struggling with her personal life; her son has moved back home, and her father has early dementia.

Meanwhile, having retired from the police force for her own sanity and wellbeing, she makes the gut-wrenching decision to return – it turns out she is not entitled to her full pension payment unless she completes her 30 years of service.

One person who is certainly glad to have her back is her colleague and friend, Sunny. “One of the things that has really struck me about people commenting on the show, from around the world, has been the warmth towards the Cassie and Sunny relationship,” notes 57-year old Bhaskar, who is also a comedian, having starred in sketch series Goodness Gracious Me and sitcom The Kumars At No. 42.

Any addictive murder mystery will have plenty of plot twists thrown in - and Lang is particularly good at leaving viewers scratching their heads about how it will end.

Asked if she has to watch what she says when talking about the show, Walker – who is also known for shows such as Spooks, The Split, and Last Tango In Halifax – quips: “You have no idea! There’s a sort of buzzing in my body, because there’s a part of me that thinks I’m going to go, ‘I’m going to tell you who the killer is!’

“The worst ones are where they put you on the television, and it’s live, and I get this awful sort of nightmare feeling that I’m just going to blurt out...”

One thing Walker and Bhaskar can happily openly discuss is guest stars – Sheila Hancock, Susan Lynch, Phaldut Sharma, Liz White, Andy Nyman, Clare Calbraith, and Lucy Speed are among the additions this year.

“It’s been one of the joys of each of these series, that you have these incredible people who come in – particularly in the interview scenes, where Nicola and I are just a few feet away from somebody giving a remarkable performance.

“It’s such a privilege,” enthuses Bhaskar.

“I remember saying to Nicola, ‘It’s like having front seats at the theatre, and watching someone just being brilliant’.”

  • Unforgotten is on ITV on Monday nights.