What happened to Jimmy Perez? Douglas Henshall's shock exit from the BBC series Shetland explained

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The long-awaited eighth play of execution enigma bid Shetland returns to BBC tonight.

Following season seven's cliffhanger finale, nan long-awaited play 8 of Shetland is group to aerial coming astatine 8pm connected BBC One, arsenic good arsenic becoming disposable to watercourse connected BBC iPlayer. 

Season 8 of nan show, based connected nan novels by best-selling writer Ann Cleeves and filmed crossed Shetland earlier this year, travel nan detectives connected nan way of a susceptible witness, Ellen Quinn, to a London gangland murder. 

This will beryllium the first play without Douglas Henshall, who played DI Jimmy Perez, pinch nan show group to beryllium anchored by Alison O'Donnell (DS Tosh McIntosh) and caller lead Ashley Jensen, who will play DI Ruth Calder. 

Scottish character Douglas Henshall, 57, unexpectedly announced his departure from nan show successful June 2022, conscionable 1 period earlier nan seventh play finale aired successful August 2022. 

Missing addition: The eighth play of execution Shetland returns to BBC coming - but without DI Jimmy Perez, aft Douglas Henshall (pictured: left) announced his departure from nan show successful 2022 

The Glasgow-born character debuted nan domiciled of DI Perez connected BBC One successful 2013 successful nan first TV adjustment of nan award-winning novels by crime writer Ann Cleeves.

Despite Douglas' departure, nan programme was confirmed for an eighth series, pinch Ugly Betty prima Ashley Jensen, 54, yet formed to switch Henshall's characteristic arsenic lead detective. 

Speaking to Radio Times successful August 2022 astir his determination to time off nan role, Henshall said he thought it had 'run its course' and felt 'very comfortable' pinch his decision, and cited that he was fresh to research different acting opportunities.

Speaking of filming his last scenes successful play seven, Henshall explained to nan outlet that it was 'a small anticlimactic.' 

He said: 'My past scenes were filmed successful a car parkland successful Kilmacolm which was very odd. We’d tried to wrap 3 times but, because of COVID, it kept being put back. So it felt a small anticlimactic successful nan end.'

Henshall went connected to show The Sun successful August 2022 that he grew tired of playing a characteristic pinch a 'good' nature, explaining: 'I deliberation it was ever going to beryllium sad, but it will beryllium bully to play personification who isn't truthful irredeemably bully arsenic Perez.

'I'll miss him arsenic a personification I crawl into each now and again because I liked him, he's a bully man. I don't cognize what nan early holds. I'd emotion to play a baddie again, that would beryllium fun.'

In February 2023, nan character commended nan casting of Ashley Jensen arsenic DI Calder successful nan aftermath of his exit, telling Radio Times: 'She's a awesome character and she's evidently very different from me.

New lead: Despite Douglas' departure, Shetland was confirmed for an eighth series, pinch Ugly Betty prima Ashley Jensen formed to switch Henshall's characteristic arsenic lead detective DI Calden

Tourism boost: Douglas Henshall unveiled a plaque successful his sanction successful November 2022 arsenic a acknowledgment from Shetland for nan occurrence of nan celebrated BBC TV bid and nan boost it has fixed tourism to nan islands

'So, I mean, I deliberation it will beryllium absorbing to person 2 women starring up this detective show connected nan isles and spot what that brings.

'I deliberation it's going to beryllium very different, but I deliberation that's what's astir breathtaking astir it – truthful yeah, I'm looking guardant to seeing it.'

In August 2023, Henshall revealed to Radio Times that he was uncovering it difficult to unafraid acting roles arsenic a '57-year-old achromatic man.'

He explained: 'It's very difficult to make conscious decisions astir what you're going to do erstwhile you're a 57-year-old achromatic man. There aren't truthful galore roles astir for maine immoderate more.'

The Shetland prima added: 'I deliberation that's conscionable a truth of getting older. People are looking for younger actors these days. There's a grade of, "I've been offered that, I'm grateful for nan job, I'll spell and do it."'

In his first post-Shetland project, Henshall starred arsenic villain Daniel Long successful nan Netflix thriller Who is Eric Carter?, which was released connected nan streaming level connected August 24. 

It follows nan communicative of Erin Collantes, a British coach surviving successful Spain. Her seemingly mean life, however, takes a melodramatic move erstwhile he becomes progressive successful a supermarket robbery. 

The bid was filmed successful Spain past year, a acold outcry from nan chilling shores of nan Scottish land nan character filmed successful for almost a decade. 

Scarce: In August, Henshall (pictured: right, arsenic DI Perez, alongside DS Tosh, left, played by Alison O'Donnell) revealed to Radio Times that he was uncovering it difficult to unafraid acting roles arsenic a '57-year-old achromatic man'

He told Radio Times successful February: 'The 1 point I realised is that I'd alternatively beryllium excessively acold than excessively hot. It doesn't matter really I opportunity nan lines each they're getting is simply a sweaty mess.

'Whereas sloppy of really acold I was successful Shetland, it didn't make overmuch quality to nan full thing. However Barcelona is really nice, nan group that I was moving pinch are awesome and if I haven't melted hopefully they'll support maine in.'

Since filming nan Netflix thriller, Henshall has been moving connected a movie successful Belfast, which he said is 'about guilt and decease and each that benignant of stuff.'

'So I'm keeping up nan happy benignant of vibes pinch nan characters I play," he joked. "It's bully to beryllium doing different things. It's besides bully not to play nan astir decent man successful nan world for a wee while!'

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