THE BBC has been accused of snubbing the Western Isles in a primetime Sunday night drama, because it was too remote.

Shameless’s Anne-Marie Duff stars in the new police thriller From Darkness, which begins next week.

She plays ex-Detective Constable Claire Church, who escapes her past moving to the Outer Hebrides with her partner Norrie - actor Richard Rankin - and daughter Megan.

But Manchester-based bosses at BBC Drama North filmed it 200 miles south on the mainland, with Argyll doubling for the islands.

Scottish scenes for the show were shot in the village of Tayvallich on the shores of Loch Sween to the west of Lochgilphead, and south of Oban.

Yesterday Western Isles Council Leader Angus Campbell said: “It is deeply disappointing that the BBC did not find some way of shooting in the Western Isles, we have some good facilities here.

“I am not sure how hard they tried.”

Mr Campbell added: “Lochgilphead is a lovely area, but I am not sure how it would have advantages in terms of facilities to what we have.

“A major BBC drama can be an important showcase for an area - we have see how Castaway, even Katie Morag, has had a real positive effect on visitor numbers and exposure for the islands.

“In that context it is very disappointing that they did not come.”

In From Darkness former DC Church is overwhelmed by handling traumatic cases and quits Greater Manchester Police. She is seen trying "to escape the past by moving away to the remote Western Isles to start a new life,” according to the BBC press release.

But in the psychological thriller - written by Sugar Rush writer Katie Baxendale - the ex-officer is drawn back in to solve a cold case, after the bodies of several missing women are uncovered.

Filming of the four-part drama was split between Scotland and England, with a large crew being based around the villages of Tayvallich - where the fictional couple have a home - and Ellenabeich, for three weeks.

Duff, who met her Scots husband James McAvoy on the set of Shameless, is making her debut in a Scottish set production.

The 44-year-old actress said: “It was absolutely stunning, magical. We were there for three weeks and we had Greek island sun the whole time pretty much.

“Nobody could believe it, we had the most glorious weather. The crew was all suntanned, everybody else had this sort of holiday.

“It was great just to be by the sea - it’s so good for your soul, your head and your heart and we giggled the whole time.

“The happiest part of the story is when Claire is at home in Scotland, so there was a different feeling to the rest of the shoot which is so urban, dark and complex.”

Yesterday Jamie McGrigor, Highlands and Islands Conservative MSP said:“ I understand the disappointment some have expressed that this series has not actually been filmed on the Inner Hebridean island location which is supposed to be depicted in the programme.

“Obviously filming on any island community would be beneficial to that local economy and very helpful in promoting the wonderful scenery of our Hebridean islands.

“However, at least the filming has been done elsewhere in the Highlands & Islands region and I hope that the fantastic setting of where it was filmed will help boost the profile of the entire Highlands & Islands region and encourage more tourists to visit.”

Yesterday a BBC spokeswoman confirmed the location decision was down to its remoteness: “No comment as such, just logistics for such a big production.”

From Darkness is on BBC One on Sunday at 9pm.