Sanjeev Bhaskar has revealed how he was “shocked” after being cast in ITV’s new drama, Unforgotten.
The 51-year-old actor, best known for starring in comedies Goodness Gracious Me and The Kumars At No 42, sheds his comedic skin to play overworked single dad DS Sunil ‘Sunny’ Khan in the six-part crime drama, which also stars Nicola Walker, Trevor Eve, Tom Courtenay and Ruth Sheen.
“First of all, I was shocked to be cast and secondly, when I was told who was in it, my mouth just hit the floor all the time,” said the actor, who is married to Meera Syal.
“You kind of know the other cast members by their work, and respect them by the work that they have done. I was a huge admirer of everyone who is in it.
Nicola Walker as DCI Cassie Stuart and Sanjeev Bhaskar as DS Sunil Khan in Unforgotten (John Rogers/ITV)
“What that doesn’t tell you is what they are like on set, and they are all terrific – not just lovely people, but fun. That was extraordinary to be around. It felt, very much for me, like I was getting acting lessons on a daily basis as well.”
Unforgotten centres around a “cold” murder case committed 39 years ago, with the investigation prompted by the discovery of the bones of a young man, beneath the footings of a demolished house.
Sanjeev, who pays the leading role in BBC1 drama The Indian Doctor, explained: “It’s like a bunch of dramas in one. It’s a police procedural thing, it’s a crime thriller, it’s a whodunnit. But it’s also a kind of family drama and a social drama.
“What I really loved about it when I read the scripts was that you have the whodunnit elements – the reader and the viewer will try to guess who is the culprit or culprits.
“But also the impact of carrying a lie for over 40 years… The knock on the door by the police opens up this Pandora’s box,” he added.
Unforgotten begins on ITV on Thursday 8 October.