Amanda Burton will return to Silent Witness for its 25th Anniversary series this year.
The actress first appeared in the lead role of pathologist Sam Ryan in 1996, starring in 54 episodes before leaving in 2004, when her character returned home to Northern Ireland to be with her family.
She will reprise her role as Sam makes a dramatic return in six brand new episodes for the show’s next series later in 2022.
Amanda Burton said: “I am so excited to be returning to Silent Witness and stepping back into Sam Ryan’s shoes – with a difference!
“Audiences can look forward to plenty of twists and turns as they discover what Sam’s been doing since leaving the Lyell.”
Amanda joins fellow cast members Emilia Fox (Nikki Alexander), David Caves (Jack Hodgson) and Genesis Lynea (Simone Tyler) on the cast.
Series 15 will open in Liverpool with an assassination attempt and Sam Ryan calling on the Lyell team with a plea for help seventeen years after leaving the Lyell.
Emilia Fox said: “It is such a delight and thrill to be working with Amanda. To have Sam Ryan back again at the heart of the show is the greatest way of all to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Silent Witness.”
She added: “It’s wonderful that we’re celebrating with Amanda. We wouldn’t be where we are today without her. It’s her legacy we live with. Sam is such a pioneering figure. Back then, female leads were few and far between.
A start date for series 25 of Silent Witness is to be announced.
“Going into Silent Witness, I felt that there was no way I could take over from Amanda, but the producers said, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll take it in a different direction.’ The thing I feel so proud about is the way the show has evolved. But it all started with Amanda and Sam Ryan.”
Lawrence Till, Executive Producer, BBC Studios Production, commented: “I am delighted that Amanda agreed to return to Silent Witness for its Silver Anniversary. Silent Witness has a large and loyal audience and remains as popular as it has ever been with audiences regularly consolidating at over six million viewers.
“It is fantastic to have Sam Ryan at the centre of the series again alongside our other Lyell characters for a monumental story told in six parts.”
Jo McClellan, Executive Producer for BBC One, added: “We are so excited for Amanda’s return to the show in its 25th Anniversary year and the centenary of the BBC itself.
“It’s a huge treat for audiences and a reminder of the legacy of this great drama over its many brilliant series and promises an exciting future for series to come.”
For now, past series of Silent Witness are available to catch-up on BBC iPlayer here.