Denis Lawson is to join BBC1’s New Tricks.

The 64-year old Scottish actor, best known for the film Local Hero and dramas Bleak House and Criminal Justice, will play Detective Inspector Steve McAllister, and will join the UCOS team of retired police investigating unsolved crimes.

But the new recruit won’t be a smooth fit. McAllister is described as ‘a bundle of energetic optimism with a tendency to get personally involved in the cases he’s working on’, the complete opposite of pessimist Brian Lane (Alun Armstrong). He will immediately rub people up the wrong way with an ‘unorthodox and sometimes unprofessional approach to policing’, reports Radio Times.

Denis said: “I’m delighted to be joining Amanda, Alun and Dennis on New Tricks. I’ve long admired the show and love its ability to be warm, humorous and gritty simultaneously. I’m really looking forward to being part of it.”

Denis’s character will fill the gap left by the departure of original cast member James Bolam.

The 10-part ninth series of New Tricks will screen on BBC1 later this year.