Martin Shaw and Lee Ingleby have begun shooting an eigth series of hit detective show Inspector George Gently and there’s a familiar face on set!

Lesley Nicol – who plays Downton Abbey’s overworked cook Mrs Patmore – will be starring in the second of four new feature length episodes due to air on BBC1 next year.

Peter Flannery, who has written the first two episodes, speaks of how the show has changed as the 1960s draw to a close…

“As the 60s draw to a close the issues facing policing seem more relevant than ever. We’re looking at the way rape complaints are met by the police – and nothing much seems to have really changed there, except perhaps the terminology…”

“And we’re looking for the first time in IGG at corporate crime, which seems to be always with us. In Films one and two Gently makes it a personal task to challenge both vested interests and the traditional ways of doing things – to his cost.”

“As I’m sure Neil Armstrong MEANT to say: one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind’.”