Lauren Lyle to star as Karen Pirie in ITV cold case murder drama 'Karen Pirie'
Lauren Lyle to star as Karen Pirie in ITV cold case murder drama, based on acclaimed author Val McDermid’s The Distant Echo, adapted by Emer Kenny
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Outlander star Lauren Lyle will take the lead role of Karen Pirie in a new ITV drama series from the producers of Line of Duty and Bodyguard, World Productions.
True to Val McDermid’s iconic character, DS Karen Pirie is a young and fearless Scottish investigator with a quick mouth and tenacious desire for the truth.
Adapted by Emer Kenny (Harlots, Save Me Too) who will also take the role of Karen’s friend River Wilde, Karen Pirie also stars Chris Jenks (Sex Education) as Jason ‘Mint’ Murray and Zach Wyatt (Blithe Spirit) as DS Phil Parhatka.
The series is based on Val McDermid’s first Karen Pirie novel The Distant Echo, and in the first episode Karen is tasked with reopening an historic murder investigation that has been the subject of a provocative true crime podcast.
When teenager Rosie Duff (Anna Russell-Martin, Casualty) was found brutally murdered in the Scottish university town of St Andrews in 1996, suspicion fell on the three drunken students who were discovered at the scene of the crime, claiming to have found her body; Sigmund ‘Ziggy’ Malkiewicz (Jhon Lumsden, Pancake) Tom ‘Weird’ Mackie (Jack Hesketh, Besa) and Alex Gilbey (Buom Tihngang, Death In Paradise). But with a lack of forensic evidence, no charges were brought and the police investigation floundered.
Twenty-five years on, someone appears to be willing to risk everything to keep the secrets surrounding the case hidden. Do the three men know more than they previously revealed? How flawed was the original investigation? And can Karen uncover the truth of what happened to Rosie that fateful night?
Further cast includes Michael Schaeffer (The Salisbury Poisonings) as Tom ‘Weird’ Mackie senior, Ariyon Bakare (His Dark Materials) as Alex Gilbey senior and Alec Newman (Unforgotten) as Sigmund ‘Ziggy’ Malkiewicz senior.
Karen Pirie (3 x 120 minutes) has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama, Polly Hill. Drama Commissioner Huw Kennair-Jones will oversee production from the channel’s perspective.
Karen Pirie will be executive produced by Simon Heath, World Production’s CEO, Emer Kenny and Val McDermid. Gareth Bryn (Line of Duty, Hidden) will direct and Clare Kerr (The Nest) will produce.
Commented Lauren Lyle:
Commented Simon Heath:
Commented Emer Kenny:
Commented Val McDermid:
The novels of celebrated crime writer Val McDermid have sold over 17 million copies worldwide. The Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series of novels was adapted into Wire in the Blood starring Robson Green for ITV.
World Productions have produced the highest rated dramas of 2021 on ITV and BBC1 in The Pembrokeshire Murders and Line of Duty. World was awarded Best Independent Production Company at both the Broadcast Awards and the Edinburgh TV Festival in 2019.
The series is filming across Scotland.
Karen Pirie is in association with, and distributed by, ITV Studios.
Source ITV Press Centre
May 11, 2021 6:01am ET by ITV Press Centre