BBC ALBA has revealed the cast for a brand-new crime thriller which will be the biggest and most high-profile Gaelic drama series in the broadcaster’s history.

With a budget of over £1 million per episode, ambitious four-part series An t-Eilean (The Island) "is set to put Gaelic-language drama on the global map", the channel said.

Set in the Outer Hebrides, An t-Eilean (The Island) is billed as "a compelling crime story that follows a family caught up in a murder investigation very close to home".

As filming begins on Harris, BBC ALBA has confirmed that acclaimed Scottish actor Sorcha Groundsell is taking the lead role in the series.

Gaelic-speaking Sorcha Groundsell (His Dark Materials, Clique, Shetland and Netflix’s The Innocents) will play PC Kat Crichton, a police family liaison officer who returns to her home island as part of the investigation into a brutal and inexplicable murder.

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Brought up in Ness on Lewis, Sorcha moved to Glasgow at the age of nine to attend the Glasgow Gaelic School. She took up drama classes at the Citizens Theatre and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland before moving to London to pursue her acting career. Sorcha broke out in the States in 2018 with her starring role in the Netflix science fiction series The Innocents.

Sorcha Groundsell said: “I’m thrilled to be part of this incredible series and honoured to participate in breaking new ground for the Gàidhlig language.

"I have been hoping to find an opportunity to bring this element of my personal life, which means so much to me, into my professional work. I can’t think of a better project than An t-Eilean (The Island) to do so.

"This show feels like a momentous opportunity for us Gaels to share the language, culture and scenery we love so much with the wider world.”

Iain Macrae (Bannan, Outlander and Crowdie and Cream) has been confirmed to play self-made millionaire, Sir Douglas MacLean, while Sagar Radia (Industry, The Good Karma Hospital and Unicorns) will play the role of lead police investigator, DCI Ahmed Halim.

The Herald: Sorcha Groundsell announced as lead for high-end BBC ALBA crime drama Sorcha Groundsell announced as lead for high-end BBC ALBA crime drama (Image: BBC Alba)

The dysfunctional Maclean siblings will be played by Sinead Macinnes (Outlander and A90), and Skye-born actors Meredith Brook (Bannan) and Sam James Smith (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Faustus: That Damned Woman).

Meanwhile, in his first ever TV role, Andrew Macinnes from the Isle of Lewis has been confirmed in the part of Sir Douglas’ eldest son and black sheep of the family, Calum.

Edinburgh-based actor, writer and filmmaker Elspeth Turner (Riptide and Marram) will portray Sir Douglas’ murdered wife, Mary. Also appearing in supporting roles will be well-known South Uist actor Daibhidh Walker (Mara: The Seal Wife, An Clò Mòr and Bannan), Lewis-born Tormod Macleod and Carina Macleod, and exciting newcomer Sharyn Ferguson.

The spectacular Amhuinnsuidhe Castle in Harris will be the main location with filming also taking place across Harris, Lewis and Glasgow.

Arabella Page Croft, executive producer at Black Camel Pictures, the producers of An t-Eilean (The Island), said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Sorcha and the rest of the talented An t-Eilean (The Island) cast on this exciting new drama series.

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"Packed full of complex and provocative characters, and set against the stunning Hebridean landscape, we can’t wait for viewers both at home and abroad to be swept away by what we hope is a must-see, ambitious crime thriller.”

BBC ALBA announced the groundbreaking project last month as the biggest Gaelic drama series in the broadcaster’s history, set to hit international screens in 2025 with support from global distributor All3Media International.

David Swetman from All3Media International, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Black Camel Pictures and BBC ALBA on this gripping crime thriller. This is our first Gaelic project and we’re excited to bring the unique and dramatic Hebridean culture, language and landscape to a global audience.”

Co-written by screenwriter/creator Nicholas Osborne (producer of Remember Me and License to Wed) and screenwriter, Patsi Mackenzie (Buidheagain and An Clò Mòr), and directed by Tom Sullivan (Arracht), An t-Eilean (The Island) sees four troubled siblings gather at their family home in the Outer Hebrides as their father is questioned over the mysterious death of their mother.

With the cast confirmed and filming now underway, Bill Macleod, Commissioning Editor at BBC ALBA, added: “We’ve brought together an amazing cast of brilliant actors for this ground-breaking project. With the breathtaking Isle of Harris as our setting, An t-Eilean (The Island) will bring Gaelic language, culture and story-telling to audiences around the world.”