DI Ray’s Maya Sondhi has taken a swipe at Line of Duty boss Jed Mercurio as she revealed why he HAD to sign her up.
Maya played Maneet Bindra in Jed's hit series Line of Duty from 2016 to 2019, when her character was brutally killed off.
Maneet had her throat slit on the jetty by Ryan Pilkington, and it seems her alter ego's death is something she won't forget in a hurry.
During an interview with The Sun's TV Mag about her new series DI Ray, which she wrote, Maya joked the show came about because Jed owed her following her Line of Duty death.
Speaking about their collaboration, Jed, who serves as an Executive Producer, said: "Maya and I worked together for a long time and we've been talking about developing ideas – I knew how much writing she was doing.
"And I really wanted to support her voice as a writer and find a way that we could give her own show.
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"It was really about: ‘How do we find a way to tell that story that reaches the mass audience?’
"There’s a lot of programming, where you kind of preaching to the converted, programming that's about these issues, which are hugely important.
"But often it's the same small audiences who are watching those shows, and we were really interested in finding a way that we could give Maya’s writing a platform that would reach beyond that niche."
However, Maya added with a laugh: "Also, he owed me this because he killed me. I needed another job. I needed a new job."
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The drama follows Bend It like Beckham star Parminder Nagra in the title role of Birmingham-based police detective Rachita Ray.
A synopsis for the series says Rachita is a Leicester-born 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".
Speaking about why the show was important to him, Jed said: "I felt that the blend of the identity crisis story, the heritage conflict story, alongside a police procedural could be developed into something that would stand a very good chance of getting on a mainstream channel.
"We were incredibly fortunate that ITV responded to the material with so much support.
"It’s just so important that we have such a large television industry that serves the UK audience and travels overseas.
"And it's really important that we give a platform to all kinds of voices, just not the traditional ones."
DI Ray premieres on ITV on Monday, May 2 at 9pm. TV Mag is available for free every Saturday, only in The Sun.
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