Sinead Keenan Has Big Plans For Her Unforgotten Debut

And it involves Sunny’s backpack...

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Sinead Keenan
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ITV’s Unforgotten is returning for a fifth season, and, following the crime drama’s season 4 finale shocker, the show will again centre around an unsolved cold case. The likes of Sanjeev Bhaskar, Jordan Long, and Carolina Main are set to reprise their roles in the forthcoming new series. But, who is Sinead Keenan, the actor replacing Nicola Walker in Unforgotten Season 5?

Sinead Keenan is an Irish actor who was born and raised in the city of Dublin. Per The Sun, Keenan also spent much of her childhood in her mother's hometown of Belfast, and later studied at University College Dublin, where she graduated with a degree in Sociology and History. Keenan's first major acting role came in 1999 when she appeared in the film Sunburn, and shortly afterwards, the actor was cast in the Irish soap opera Fair City, the publication notes. Keenan later moved onto a string of larger TV roles, including in the BBC's Being Human, Doctor Who, Agatha Christie's Poirot, and ITV's Little Boy Blue and Deep Water.

Meanwhile, Keenan’s two siblings, Rory and Grainne, have also enjoyed success in the sphere of acting, having starred in hit shows including Peaky Blinders and Black Mirror.

Keenan’s most recent on-screen role can be enjoyed in the returning ITV crime drama Unforgotten. As Radio Times notes, the Irish actor will portray the character of DCI Jessica James — the new partner of DI Sunil 'Sunny' Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar) and replacement of Nicola Walker’s DCI Cassandra Stuart who — spoiler alert — died at the end of series 4.

“I have long been an admirer of Chris Lang’s work so I am absolutely delighted to be joining the Unforgotten team,” Keenan said of her casting in a statement. “I’m very much looking forward to working with the extraordinary cast led by the brilliant and incredibly lovely, Sanjeev Bhaskar. And I’m hoping that if I play my cards right I might even get to take a peek in Sunny’s backpack!”

Show writer Chris Lang echoed Keenan’s enthusiasm. “And so it begins, a new Unforgotten journey — and it’s scary, for Sunny and the Bishop Street team, for the audience, for all of us. But it’s also very, very, exciting, and I cannot wait for you to meet DCI Jessica ‘Jessie’ James, played by the always brilliant, Sinéad Keenan,” he said of the announcement.

As mentioned, Keenan is expected to be joined in the Unforgotten cast by Jordan Long as DS Murray Boulting, Lewis Reeves as DC Jake Collier, Carolina Main as DC Fran Lingley, Georgia McKenzie as Dr. Leanne Balcombe, Janet Dibley as Jenny, and Michelle Bonnard as Sal.

Although there is currently no set air date for Unforgotten Season 5, and plot details are still being kept tightly under-wraps, fans can likely expect the hit drama to revolve around a mysterious new criminal case and the characters closest to it.

Speaking to Radio Times, the show’s lead star Bhaskar disclosed that Season 5 will “pick up not long after” the tragic events of Season 4. “There is a connection to that story,” the actor confirmed. “Chris Lang, who has written all of them, has written this one … it's very exciting reading the scripts.”

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