Outlanders Sam Heughan pens support for Marsali star as she lands role away from Starz

Outlander: Stars recall filming series five

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The sixth season of Outlander may not be hitting screens for some time, but the series’ impressive cast has already lined up some impressive projects away from the popular Starz drama. Sam Heughan has paid tribute to his co-star Lauren Lyle on Twitter after the rising Scottish star bagged the lead in an upcoming project for ITV.

Lauren Lyle is set to portray the titular Detective Sergeant in ITV’s upcoming crime series, Karen Pirie.

Lyle, 27, will lead the new cold case series based on acclaimed author Val McDermid’s bestselling novel, The Distant Echo.

The Scottish actor was thrilled to take on the project, and rushed to Twitter with excitement when ITV announced their new series.

She wrote: “Have been secretly screaming with excitement for months. Detective Sergeant. So overjoyed. Here we go.”

Karen Pirie will be adapted for television by actress and writer Emer Kenny, known for her recurring role as Zsa Zsa Carter in Eastenders, for which she also wrote several episodes.

The actress then added: “And of course the best person ever @MissEmerKenny wrote it remains on the floor with excitement.”

Kenny will also star in the series, along with Sex Education’s Chris Jenks and Blithe Spirit’s Zach Wyatt.

Producers for hit series Line of Duty and Bodyguard, World Productions, are also on board to develop the upcoming drama.

An up-and-coming small screen talent, Lyle is best known for her role as Marsali in Outlander, the young apprentice to time-travelling nurse, Claire Fraser (played by Caitriona Balfe).

She is also joined by popular leading man Sam Heughan, who portrays the rugged and sensitive Highland warrior, Jamie Fraser.

Heughan himself swung by to offer his congratulations, commenting: “Congrats Lyle!!!!”

ITV’s new series will mark Lyle’s first foray into a major TV role since taking on Marsali in 2017.

Karen Pirie will also be the first time the star has headed her own series, having just appeared in the supporting cast of BBC’s Broken and a handful of smaller roles beforehand.

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Her leading role is described as a sharp-witted detective on a desperate crusade to hunt down the truth by any means necessary.

The first in a series of books centred around Karen Pirie, The Distant Echo kicks off when the detective opens up a historic murder investigation after the unsolved case became the subject of a popular true crime podcast.

Lyle will star in three feature length episodes of the new series, which is hoped to start a major franchise for ITV.

In an additional statement, Lyle said: “I am completely overjoyed to be bringing the formidable force that is DS Karen Pirie to life through Emer Kenny’s slick adaptation.

“The world Emer has created using the backbone of Val McDermid’s much loved books is electrifying and hooked me immediately.

“I couldn’t ask for a more creative, supportive and energetic team to be joining. I’m so thankful to Val, Emer, World Productions and ITV for welcoming me wholeheartedly on board.”

Thriller fans who can’t wait for the series to hit screens can check out the six books in Val McDermid’s crime series that have already been released, including last year’s Still Life.

Outlander is available to watch on STARZ and Amazon Prime.

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