Ben Aldridge leads The Long Call cast

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 6 April 2021
Ben Aldridge

Ben Aldridge

'Our Girl' actor Ben Aldridge leads cast for new ITV crime drama 'The Long Call'

Ben Aldridge has been cast in 'The Long Call'.

The 'Our Girl' actor is set to play DI Matthew Venn in ITV's upcoming crime drama adaptation of 'Vera' creator Ann Cleeves' novel of the same name, while 'Des' screenwriter Kelly Jones will pen all four episodes.

The series follows Matthew, who returns to live in a small community in North Devon with his husband, Jonathan.

It’s a place the character walked away from 20 years ago, after being rejected by his family.

Ben commented: "I’m delighted to be playing Matthew Venn, a brilliantly unorthodox detective who audiences will see solving a gripping and intricate case, whilst simultaneously surmounting a deeper, more personal mystery within himself.

"It’s a poignant and complex journey of self-discovery and sexual and religious identity, which navigates the tension between pride and shame, and I feel privileged to be bringing it to ITV viewers in 'The Long Call.' ”

And author Ann added: "I can’t think of anyone who could play Matthew Venn better than Ben Aldridge.

"He will bring an authenticity and commitment to the role. I always hoped that the actor chosen would come from Devon, where the books are set, and he does.

"Ben was the actor who read the audio book even before the TV show was commissioned. I love his pared-back, restrained narration.

"He's worked on the novel as well as the script, and so he understands the character in depth. No author could wish for more.”

We first meet the reserved, but intense Matthew Venn outside the local church as his father's funeral takes place.

The day Matthew turned his back on the strict evangelical community in which he grew up, he lost his family too.

Now he's back, not just to mourn his father at a distance, but to take charge of his first major murder after a body has been found on the beach near to Matthew's new home.

Also joining the cast are Juliet Stevenson as Matthew’s mother Dorothy and Martin Shaw as the spiritual Brethren leader Dennis, while Anita Dobson, Neil Morrissey, Pearl Mackie, Dylan Edwards, Sarah Gordy, Amit Shah and Alan Williams are on board in as-yet-unspecified roles.

Filming is set to get underway this month in Bristol and on the North Devon coast.

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