Lynda La Plante has revealed plans to make a prequel TV series about her tough-talking cop Jane Tennison.

The character, made famous by Dame Helen Mirren in TV series Prime Suspect, will feature in a new novel which will be a prequel to those stories. Lynda said she also plans to adapt the book, called Tennison, for TV.

She said: “I am extremely excited to have begun work on the Tennison project. Jane Tennison is a character who millions of people know and admire from my books and TV series, Prime Suspect, portrayed brilliantly by Helen Mirren.

“But nobody knows what drove her to become a DCI or want to join the police force in the first place. When you first meet her in the early 90s, she is a very complex character, but what made her so?

“I can’t say too much now, but readers will find out next year when the book is published; or in 2016, which is the 25th anniversary of Prime Suspect, when they watch Tennison the series.”

Dame Helen, who was given a Bafta Fellowship on Sunday night, said the Prime Suspect role was the one she was most ‘grateful’ for because it taught her ‘how to act in film’.