Page last updated at 11:28 GMT, Friday, 28 March 2008

Ashes to Ashes gets second series

DCI Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister) with DI Alex Drake (Keeley Hawes)
Filming for the new series will begin in the summer

BBC One drama Ashes to Ashes, which stars Philip Glenister as politically incorrect policeman DCI Gene Hunt, is to return for a second series in 2009.

The show, a sequel to Life on Mars, has received an average of 6.5m viewers since it began in February.

Julie Gardner, the BBC's head of drama in Wales, said she was "delighted" to be bringing back the "bold, confident storytelling and great characters".

The current series ended on Thursday with an audience of 5.4m.

Set in 1981, the police drama also stars Keeley Hawes as police psychologist DI Alex Drake.

The first episode, in which Drake wakes up in the 1980s after being shot in an incident in modern-day London, attracted 7m viewers.

Simon Crawford-Collins, from production company Kudos, said: "The Eighties have had a real revival over the past few months.

"Ashes To Ashes seems to have captured the imagination of the nation.

"I'm sure viewers will be desperate to know who's back in the second series but for now they'll just have to watch the last episode of series one to find out."

Filming for the next series will begin in the summer.

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