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New TV series inspired by Black Isle regular Ian Rankin’s iconic Rebus set to air this week

By Federica Stefani

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Ian Rankin’s iconic Inspector Rebus series inspired a new TV show. Picture: Alison White.
Ian Rankin’s iconic Inspector Rebus series inspired a new TV show. Picture: Alison White.

A new show inspired by the work of a popular crime writer – who is a well-known face on the Black Isle – will be broadcast for the first time on Friday (May 17).

Filming for Rebus, which is inspired by Ian Rankin’s best selling crime series, started in May 2023 and will be available on the BBC iPlayer on Friday.

Mr Rankin, who has a home on the Black Isle, said about his character: “Rebus is dark, brooding and slightly dangerous and edgy. He’s someone people would like to meet for a short time.

“The books allow them to meet him for a short time, but I don’t think you’d want to hang out for too long. I mean, if he bumped into me, I’m sure we wouldn’t have much of a conversation before he got bored of me and wandered off. He’d be much more interested in the drink than he would be in the person who was talking to him.

“I think he also feels real to people, partly because he inhabits what is more or less a real city. He drinks in real bars, he worked in a real police station, he lives in a real street. You can actually trace his peregrinations around the city. Fans do come to the city looking for Rebus’s Edinburgh, and it’s there waiting for them.”

Most of the show was filmed in Edinburgh, with VisitScotland releasing a list of filming locations – among which are Grassmarket, The Mound and National Library of Scotland.

Actor Richard Rankin, who plays John Rebus in the new series, said: “Ian Rankin’s books have got such an enormous fan base. Whenever the series comes up people are always very excited about the prospect of seeing one of their most beloved detectives come back to the screen.

“Ian Rankin has sold over thirty million copies of Rebus and it’s been translated into at least thirty six languages so it’s an absolute privilege to have been given the honour of bringing Rebus to life again.”

All episodes will be available on BBC iPlayer from 6am on Friday, May 17, with episode one airing on BBC Scotland on Friday 17 May at 10pm and on BBC One on Saturday 18 May at 9.25pm.

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