Blue Lights: new cast and loyalist-centric plot revealed for second series of BBC’s hit Belfast cop show

Blue Lights
Blue Lights series two Martin McCann and Siân Brooke in scene from the new series of Blue Lights. Picture: Christopher Barr (BBC/Two Cities Television)

THE BBC has revealed the new recruits for hit Belfast-based police drama Blue Lights, which returns for a second series in the Spring with a storyline centred on a violent loyalist feud.

Frank Blake (The Border, Normal People) will appear in the new six-part series as Constable Shane Bradley, along with Oscar-winner Seamus O’Hara (An Irish Goodbye) and Seána Kerslake (Bad Sisters, Ballywalter) as Lee Thompson and his sister, Mags. Craig McGinlay (Cobra) will play Lee’s right-hand man, Craig, and Dan Gordon (Bloodlands) appears as Mags and Lee’s Uncle Rab.

Blue Lights
Blue Lights series two Seamus O'Hara and Seána Kerslake. Picture: Christopher Barr (BBC/Two Cities Television)

They will join returning Blue Lights cast members Siân Brooke (Grace Ellis), Martin McCann (Stevie Neil), Katherine Devlin (Annie Conlon), Nathan Braniff (Tommy Foster), Joanne Crawford (Helen McNally), Andi Osho (Sandra Cliff) and Hannah McClean (Jen Robinson).

Other familiar faces from the first series, which attracted over seven-million viewers when it aired on BBC One and BBC iPlayer last March, include Paddy Jenkins (Happy Kelly), Desmond Eastwood (Murray Canning), Andrea Irvine (Nicola Robinson), Aoibhéann McCann (Geraldine Gilroy) and Abigail McGibbon (Tina McIntyre).

Blue Lights
Blue Lights series two Andi Osho as Sandra Cliff. Picture: Christopher Barr (Christopher Barr/BBC/Two Cities Television)

Series two begins one year after the fall of the all-powerful McIntyre crime gang as seen at the end of series one, with rival gangs now competing for dominance in the city.

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A BBC synopsis reads: “Constable Shane Bradley is drafted in to help, but his motivations are unclear. Tommy is dangerously seduced by the world of intelligence policing, while Grace struggles to deal with her son’s absence and growing feelings for fellow officer, Stevie.

“As a young loyalist threatens to take over the city, the officers face a major gangland feud – culminating in a violent and devastating confrontation.”

Shane Bradley in Blue Lights series two
Blue Lights series two Shane Bradley in Blue Lights series two. Picture: Christopher Barr (BBC/Two Cities Television)

Writers, directors and co-creators Declan Lawn and Adam Patterson said: “Blue Lights is a very personal project for us, set in the city where we live, so for us making this show is a special kind of privilege.

“In series two, we join our officers exactly a year after the events of series one, and now they’re facing a whole new set of professional and personal challenges.

“We’re very excited indeed about bringing you this next chapter of the Blue Lights story. Take a beat.”

Blue Lights series two
Blue Lights series two Nathan Braniff (Tommy Foster) and Katherine Devlin (Annie Conlon) Picture: Christopher Barr (BBC/Two Cities Television)

Stephen Wright, executive producer and co-creator of the show says: “I am so proud of series one and delighted by the audience response. I am looking forward to bringing our characters and the city of Belfast back for series two as well as introducing some exciting new characters and storylines to the fans.”

“I’ve been overwhelmed by the response to the first series of Blue Lights,” adds Louise Gallagher, Blue Lights executive producer and founder of Gallagher Films, which co-produces the series with Two Cities Television.

“The feedback from the viewers has been more than I ever could have wished for. I am very grateful to the BBC for the opportunity to make a second series and I’m excited about sharing our new stories and revealing where our officers are one year on.”

Seamus O'Hara in Blue Lights series two
Blue Lights series two Seamus O'Hara as Lee Thompson. Picture: Christopher Barr (BBC/Two Cities Television)

Nick Lambon, BBC commissioning editor drama, Northern Ireland, says: “We can’t wait for viewers to join another shift with the fantastic returning cast of Blue Lights, as well as meet some surprising new recruits to the team.

“Declan and Adam’s scripts promise new dangers and high-stakes drama for all our officers, proving that a year into the job, these rookies still have a lot more to learn.”

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