ITV’s new police drama has hit our screens, and is focused around characters who live and work in Birmingham.
DI Ray is being touted as the next big drama and one which you can’t afford to miss. It’s won bags of praise since the first episode was shown on Bank Holiday Monday (May 2).
Here’s what we know about where the show was filmed, and when it is set to hit our screens.
What is the show about?
DI Ray is a four-part drama written by Line of Duty actress and screenwriter Maya Sondhi (Mount Pleasant, The Kumars, Ackley Bridge, EastEnders) and produced by Jed Mercurio’s HTM Television (Bloodlands).
Jed Mercurio (Line of Duty, Bodyguard) will executive produce the series, alongside Madonna Baptiste (The Stranger, Black Mirror, Stephen). It will be directed by Audrey Cooke and Alex Pillai and produced by Charlotte Surtees (Code 404, Two Weeks to Live, Dave Allen At Peace).
Set in Birmingham, DI Ray introduces us to Leicester-born Rachita Ray, a police officer who takes on a case that forces her to confront a lifelong personal conflict between her British identity and her South Asian heritage.
Where is the show filmed?
DI Ray was filmed at locations across the Midlands, with many familiar spots in Birmingham.
ITV didn’t give too much information away before filming or the weeks since. But BirminghamWorld has spoken to location manager Midge Ferguson, who lives in the city who has revealed that much of the filming took place in Birmingham.
The series opened with a dramatic stabbing scene in Centenary Square in front of the Library of Birmingham, which the show called the Central Library (the name of the library that got bulldozed around the corner).
In fact the police station, where much of the action is shot, is at Three Snowhill, not far from Snow Hill train station in the city centre.
The house where DI Ray lives, is in Harborne, near the White Swan/ Dirty Duck. The White Swan on Bradford Street in Digbeth was also used for a scene. And, keeping on the pub/ restaurant scene, you’ll also be able to spot Marco Pierre’s restaurant at The Cube on the show.
Just like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 7, the DI Ray crew also filmed at Grand Central. The underside of Spaghetti Junction was used for the discovery of a body, the Ladbroke Hotel in Digbeth was also featured.
Members of the public also spotted filming taking place within Birmingham, with some scenes apparently being filmed within the city’s Jewellery Quarter.
Other locations within the city where filming activity was spotted before Christmas was around Livery Street where for a short time parking was suspended.
Film crews were in and around Birmingham for several weeks at the end of last year, working hard to bring the show together which is now ready to be viewed.
Make sure to keep an eye out when the show starts to see if you can spot any other familiar sights around Birmingham.
Has a Birmingham local written the show?
The answer to this one, is a resounding yes.
DI Ray was written by Birmingham-born screenwriter Maya Sondhi.
Sondhi was one of the creative minds behind the school drama Ackley Bridge as well as a 2016 episode Mount Pleasant, based around a tight knit community in a Manchester suburb.
Maya Sondhi spoke about why DI Ray is a personal project, and why she hopes that the show will relate to people from all backgrounds.
She said: “This is a project which is deeply personal for me as a British Asian Brummie woman. It’s only in the past 10 years or so I’ve really been able to truly embrace my heritage. So much of this show is my story and in telling it honestly, I hope others from all different backgrounds will relate.”
DI Ray is a gripping four-part series that tracks a compelling murder investigation whilst exploring the emotive subject of racism in the workplace. It asks difficult questions about what it’s like to be British but feel ‘other.’
And it does so whilst sending viewers on a thrilling ride through the murky underworld of Birmingham and beyond.
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