Unforgotten’s Sanjeev Bhaskar details ‘challenging’ Sunny Khan scenes

Unforgotten: Sinéad Keenan and Sanjeev Bhaskar star in trailer

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Two years ago, Unforgotten fans were left heartbroken when DCI Cassie Stuart (played by Nicola Walker) died in a horrific car accident. Leaving her team behind, fans of the ITV show saw DCI Jessica James (Sinead Keenan) make her debut as the new boss of DI Sunny Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar). As the new series returned last month, actor Sanjeev touched on some challenging scenes ahead.

Unforgotten viewers were left heartbroken at the end of series four as Nicola Walker made her departure from the show after six years.

With almost 10 million people tuning in to watch DCI Cassie’s unexpected death, many feared how the series would continue without her along with the impact it will have on her police team, especially her close friend DI Sunny.

Although many viewers are used to seeing him upbeat and keen to solve the cases, it’s clear Sunny is struggling at the beginning of series five without his old boss.

As he adapts to the changes at work, along with dealing with the grief of losing Cassie, viewers are set to see him display some raw anger within the series.

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When asked if it was good to be able to display real emotion, the actor confessed: “It’s certainly a challenge.

“Because ultimately you want to do it truthfully, you want to do it so it’s consistent with their character.

“I was very happy in all of those emotional scenes, whether he was angry or upset,to be guided really, because it can very easily become indulgent as an actor.

“You can certainly go, “Right this is my chance to be Robert De Niro!” Which may not be the most appropriate approach.”

However, the Unforgotten star added the challenges he has to face while playing Sunny are the fun bits for him.

He continued: “If it’s not challenging, then there is a danger that you can coast a little bit.

“And, again, Chris Lang’s scripts, and certainly director Andy Wilson, do not let you do that.

“Particularly, with Andy, over every series (and he has directed every single one), he’s very clear to the actors, and certainly to me, when he doesn’t believe it.”

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Speaking about Sunny having to adapt without Cassie, the 59-year-old revealed the former DCI was his character’s confidant and he’s finding it difficult to recalibrate.

He added: “It struck me that, outside of his daughters, Cassie was the most consistent and positive relationship he’d had.

“And suddenly to not have that…I’ve lost friends, and certainly with a couple of them, even though they passed away a long time ago now, there’s still that slight dissonance that you feel.”

Actress Nicola Walker made her departure from the ITV crime drama after six-years at the end of series four, which she confessed was a joint decision between herself and writer Chris Lang.

In series five’s first episode, it wasn’t an easy day on the job for the new DCI as the team had to solve a case involving a severed leg which was found in a chimney in Hammersmith.

A synopsis for the upcoming episode reads: “The victim’s turbulent past comes to light and leads the team in unexpected directions.

“Sunny takes a trip to Paris and Jess drops in on an unsuspecting Lord, but the pair continue to butt heads as progress on the case moves slowly.”

Unforgotten continues Monday’s on ITV from 9pm.

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