25 AUG 2023

BBC confirms a new crime drama and the return of “Black Ops” for a second series

The new crime drama, “Virdee,” is based on the bestselling novels by AA Dhand. “Black Ops” is produced by BBC Studios Comedy Productions and Mondo Deluxe and created by BAFTA- winning actor and writer Gbemisola Ikumelo, actor and producer Akemnji Ndifornyen and writing duo Joe Tucker and Lloyd Woolf.

25 AUG 2023

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BBC has commissioned “Virdee,” a new detective series based on AA Dhand’s best-selling crime novels. In addition, the company announced the return of the comedy thriller "Black Ops," which has been recommissioned for a second six-part series on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, Jon Petrie, Director of BBC Comedy.

"Virdee" is adapted for the screen by AA Dhand. The series is executive produced by Paul Trijbits, AA Dhand and Jo McClellan for the BBC, and produced by Stella Nwimo. The co-producers tasked with the project are Gareth Coulam Evans, Callum Dodgson, Sylvie Richards and Karl Hall. Virdee is a Magical Society production in association with Screen Yorkshire for BBC One and BBC iPlayer. Cineflix Rights is the exclusive worldwide distribution partner. Filming will start later this year in and around Bradford and further cast will be announced in due course. The new six-part drama for BBC One and BBC iPlayer was announced today by Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama, at the Edinburgh TV Festival’s Spotlight on the BBC session. 

The new detective series stars Sacha Dhawan from newly formed production company Magical Society, headed up by Paul Trijbits. When the murderer kidnaps a local MP’s daughter in Bradford and holds the entire city to ransom, Harry realises that he is going to need the help of his brother-in-law Riaz, a drugs kingpin who runs the largest cartel in the county. Pulled together in an alliance that could ruin them both, Harry must make a choice: save himself and his family or save his city. He will not be able to do both. The series introduces Detective Harry Virdee, a Bradford cop disowned by his Sikh family for marrying Saima, who is Muslim. Harry struggles with the abandonment, constantly attempting to reunite with his family. With his personal life in chaos, he must hunt down a killer targeting the Asian community.

“Black Ops” is a BBC Studios Comedy Production, co-produced with Mondo Deluxe for BBC One and BBC iPlayer. It is created by Gbemisola Ikumelo, Akemnji Ndifornyen, Joe Tucker and Lloyd Woolf and was commissioned by Jon Petrie for BBC One and BBC iPlayer. The Executive Producer is Josh Cole and the Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Seb Barwell. BBC Studios is the international distributor for the series. Production is set to get underway in 2024 and further casting will be announced in due course. "We’re thrilled to be returning for more Black Ops,” Josh Cole, Head of Comedy at BBC Studios Productions, said. “The show is a passion project for all involved, and with Gbemisola, Akemnji, Joe and Lloyd we have a glorious surfeit of talent at the helm. We can’t wait to join Dom and Kay on another misadventure."

In the first series, Dom and Kay joined the Met Police as Police Community Support Officers in the hope of cleaning up their community, but found themselves unwittingly thrust into the murky world of deep cover infiltration and a powerful criminal enterprise. The title drew in an audience of 2.3M million for the first episode and 1.6 million across the full series, the combination of a gripping thriller plot and laugh out loud comedy kept viewers hooked. "The first series of Black Ops had BBC viewers hooked with a perfect balance of big laughs and gripping plot,” Jon Petrie, Director of BBC Comedy, said.  “Gbemisola, Akemnji, Joe and Lloyd have created something special, and we look forward to seeing what Dom and Kay get up to next."

In series two, Gbemisola Ikumelo will be reprising her role as Dom and Hammed Animashaun will be back as Kay, with the duo set to be thrust into a new adventure. Akemnji Ndifornyen also reprises his role as gang boss Tevin. "It’s been such a joy to see how audiences have got behind this show," Gbemisola Ikumelo, said. "So, it feels like a no-brainer to get the band back together and create more danger, adventure and laughs for everyone. This next season promises to have Dom and Kay really surprising us. Can’t wait!"