Denis Lawson signs up to New Tricks
Denis Lawson is joining the cast of New Tricks to take the place of James Bolam who announced he was leaving at the end of the last series.
Star Wars actor Denis, whose career includes stints in Holby City and Criminal Justice, will play retired Detective Inspector Steve McAllister in the show about a team of retired ex-coppers investigating unsolved crimes.
He said: "I've long admired the show and love its ability to be warm, humorous and gritty simultaneously. I'm really looking forward to being part of it."
The show, which stars Amanda Redman, Dennis Waterman and Alun Armstrong, pulled in almost 10 million viewers at the end of the last series.
Likely Lads star James, who played Jack Halford, announced he was leaving last September.
Ben Stephenson, Controller of Drama Commissioning at the BBC, told the Broadcasting Press Guild that Denis had "all the right qualities" for the show.
He said: "He's a great actor, people love him and he's got a twinkle and he will really add a fantastic flavour to that show."
Denis, who played fighter pilot Wedge in Star Wars, is the uncle of Ewan McGregor.
The ninth series of New Tricks is currently being filmed and will be shown later this year on BBC1.