Unforgottens Sunny Khan admits filming was strange without star

Unforgotten: Sinéad Keenan and Sanjeev Bhaskar star in trailer

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Season five of Unforgotten hits screens next Monday and there are a few changes to the cast line-up. Both Nicola Walker, who played DCI Cassie Stuart, and Lewis Reeves, who starred as DC Jake Collier, departed the show last season. With such a shift in the cast dynamic Sanjeev Bhaskar who plays the popular DI Sunny Kahn admits that filming was “strange”.

“It was slightly strange, I think for all of us,” he revealed.

“We are a little composite family so it’s like a school reunion every time we see each other.

“But we didn’t have Lewis Reeves as part of the team this time, which felt strange as well, because he wasn’t there.

“And it was this collective thing of, ‘This is a bit weird, isn’t it?’”

Nicola Walker’s DCI Cassie Stuart bowed out of the show after six years when her character was involved in a car accident in the penultimate episode of the last series.

In true thriller style, her life hung in the balance leaving viewers on tenterhooks until she was pronounced dead in the season finale.

Meanwhile, Lewis Reeves who played DC Jake Collier star confirmed he won’t be appearing in season five due to scheduling conflicts.

However, he hasn’t ruled out a return if a season six is commissioned saying: “I’m sure they’ll welcome DC Jake Collier back – [that’s] what I’m hearing, so fingers crossed.”

In another dramatic shift to the dynamic a new character DCI Jessica James, played by Sinead Keenan, is brought in to replace Cassie, which Bhaskar admits somewhat discombobulates the team.

“This group, because of their connection with Cassie and each other, emotionally huddled together a little more,” he explained.

“Certainly, when Jess comes in and is quite disruptive to that dynamic, they do all tend to look to each other for some sort of emotional support or guidance.

“So they’re all lost and slightly thrown by this new person coming in, and the new rhythms,” he revealed.


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Last summer ITV confirmed that audiences would initially get an unforeseen and devastating introduction to Jess’s family life before her first day as Sunny’s partner.

While viewers don’t yet fully know how she is introduced, the trailer for the new series shows that the character will put her own stamp on things.

Speaking in voiceover in the clip as forensics lift a floor, she says: “Full disclosure I don’t intend to run this team like she [Cassie] did.”

While her character appears cool and collected Bhaskar was aware that Keenan might have some nerves and reached out to her before shooting began.

“I said to her, ‘If you want to meet up or if you want to talk, or anything like that, then I’m here,’” he revealed.

“I thought Sinéad was in a very similar position to Jess, in that she was coming into an existing team where you assume that everyone has a shorthand, and everyone gets on, and you don’t want to be the person who comes in and messes it up.

“I didn’t want her to arrive on day one of filming carrying that kind of baggage as Sinéad. She’s brilliant at what she does anyway, she’s a really lovely person. She’s very, very, very good.

“So she dropped into the scene immediately. It was almost seamless, to be honest,” he said.

Unforgotten returns to ITV and ITVX on Monday, February 27.

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