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Actress Sarah Parish has admitted she was left surprised by the BBC’s decision to shelve detective drama Monroe.

Sarah – who is playing an evil queen in BBC One’s new big-budget drama Atlantis, which kicks off on Saturday night – starred alongside James Nesbitt in two series of the show before it was cancelled.

And she said: “I don’t want to put myself out of a job with regards to commissioning editors but I think it was a bizarre decision.

“Peter Bowker’s one of the best writers, and James Nesbitt was in the role of his life. We were all like ‘wow, can’t quite believe it’. But that’s the business isn’t it?

“You’ve just got to put a smile on your face and go ‘OK’, otherwise you’ll end up really angry and bitter and sad,” Sarah added.

Atlantis, which also stars Juliet Stevenson, Mark Addy and Jack Donnelly, and is inspired by Greek myths and legends, kicks off at 8.20pm on BBC One on Saturday night.

Jack – who plays series lead Jason – guaranteed viewers would not be disappointed.

“You won’t have seen anything like this,” he said. “It starts big and it gets bigger – by the end it’s crazy!”