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Shetland star Douglas Henshall reveals reason behind shock exit

Series seven will be Jimmy Perez' last

shetland s7 douglas
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
August 4, 2022
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Shetland star Douglas Henshall has revealed the reason behind his decision to step down from his role playing DI Jimmy Perez in the beloved detective drama. 

MORE: Douglas Henshall's next role after Shetland revealed

Speaking to the BBC in a new interview, the actor explained that he felt it was the "right time" to wrap up Jimmy's story in order to avoid ruining "the things that were unique" to the character and the series. 

WATCH: Are you looking forward to season seven?

"I decided to leave a few years ago because I felt that Perez's story was coming to a natural end - it was time to find a resolution to Perez's private life," said the 56-year-old. "I never wanted to ruin the things that were unique to him and our series so it felt like the right time to wrap up his story in a way that would be satisfactory to everybody.

"I am aware we're not changing the world in any way, shape or form but as far as crime shows go, Shetland does really well in that genre. We tell stories that are very good, the characters are great and I wanted to go out on a high."

MORE: Douglas Henshall breaks silence after shock exit from Shetland

MORE: Shetland creator shares reaction to Douglas Henshall’s exit: 'He was perfect' 

Chatting about how he felt while filming his final scenes, he explained: "My last scenes were filmed in a car park in Kilmacolm which was very odd. We'd tried to wrap three times but, because of covid, it kept being put back. So it felt a little anti-climactic in the end." 

shetland cast together© Photo: BBC

Douglas revealed he made the decision to leave "a few years ago"

He added: "I did say a few words of thanks to everyone who was there but it's impossible to encapsulate ten years of work. Shetland has meant a lot to me and it's going to take some time to sink in that I've left the show." 

He also spoke about the upcoming series, which will make its debut on 10 August. "It seems as though it's a missing person but then it becomes murkier and murkier as it goes along," he teased. "I really love that there's no dead body at the start of this new series and the suspense of that is great."

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