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Pharmacist Amit Dhand’s crime novels to be adapted into BBC series

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British Asian pharmacist Amit Dhand’s crime novels are to be transformed into a six-part television series titled ‘Virdee’ by the British Broadcasting Corporation. Based in Yorkshire, Dhand is a registered pharmacist known for a series of crime novels that chronicle the life of Bradford detective Harry Virdee.

In the upcoming BBC series, Sacha Dhawan, known for his roles in Doctor Who, The Great, and Wolf, will take on the lead role of the titular cop, whose personal life is thrown into chaos when his Sikh family disowns him for marrying a Muslim woman.

As Virdee grapples to reunite with his family, he concurrently endeavors to track down a murderer who is specifically targeting the Asian community.

As the killer kidnaps a local MP’s daughter, thrusting the city into turmoil, Virdee comes to the realization that he must enlist his brother-in-law Riaz’s assistance—a formidable drugs kingpin who commands the county’s largest cartel.

According to the BBC, the story will unfold across six hour-long episodes, with Virdee grappling with a crucial decision: whether to save himself and his family or to rescue his city. Alongside adapting the novels for the screen, Dhand will serve as a co-executive producer for the series.”

“Like me, DCI Harry Virdee is a proud Brit who dreams big and is passionate about his heritage,” Dhand said. “He refuses to be shackled by the past and believes in merging worlds, cultures and identities; no matter the cost. Hey, aim big or go home – this is Yorkshire.”

“We are thrilled to be working with Dhand on his very first drama for television along with the team at Magical Society,” said Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama. “Virdee combines a potent detective plot with a central love story. With Sacha as Harry and Bradford setting the ideal scene, I’m eager for viewers to be captivated by this series.”

The BBC announced filming commencing later this year in and around Bradford, with additional casting updates to follow. “Virdee will be an essential part of the activities leading up to the 2025 Bradford City of Culture,” the national broadcaster added.

Dhand is the son of parents (of Punjabi descent) who immigrated to the UK from Delhi, India, and operated a corner shop for their livelihood. After completing his pharmacist training at Bradford University in 2003, he worked in London before eventally returning to his hometown in Yorkshire.

There, he not only established a pharmacy business but also embarked on his writing journey.

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