As New Tricks returns to our screens, Amanda Redman talks about working with an all-male cast…

Are you happy to be back playing Det Supt Sandra Pullman in the eighth series of New Tricks?
“Yes, I always have so much fun. What I really enjoy is working with Dennis Waterman, James Bolam and Alun Armstrong who play Gerry, Jack and Brian. The four of us still get along very well; we have a lot of fun and I think that comes across on screen.”

The opening episode takes the UCOS team to the Natural History Museum. What was it like filming there?
“As we couldn’t film during the day when the public were visiting, we had to shoot there at night, so it really was like the film, Night At The Museum. We were allowed to wander wherever we wanted to, which was brilliant. A bit creepy, but extraordinary.”

In this episode, Sandra jokes about ‘working with dinosaurs’. Does this make her consider her future at all?
“Yes. In another episode, an old mate who trained with Sandra at Hendon comes back and says: ‘You should be out with us, not stuck here with three old guys’. So Sandra begins to doubt whether she’s doing the right thing staying with UCOS.”

Which guest stars will be appearing this series?
“Sheila Hancock, who plays Sandra’s mum, Grace, is an old friend of mine. There’s also Peter Davison, who I starred with in At Home with the Braithwaites. Paul McGann plays an old flame of Sandra. When he calls about a case, they kind of rekindle their relationship.”

Do you mind being the only regular female cast member?
“Occasionally, I think it would be nice to have a woman to chat to about something other than golf! I do have to keep the boys in check every now and again but, at the same time, they are very protective of me, which is lovely.”

Why do you think New Tricks has remained so popular?
“I don’t know, it continues to amaze us really. It’s very rare for a series to be this popular for this long and all over the world; some repeats get more viewers than other new shows. I’m sure if someone could bottle what a winning formula is, they’d be doing it!”

New Tricks returns on Monday, July 4 at 9pm on BBC1