THE Beacon has a starring role in a new crime mini-series set to hit our TV screens.

Prime time actress Nicola Walker, of 'Spooks' fame, will be joined by a supporting cast and crew in Inverclyde for the filming of drama Annika.

It has been revealed the arts centre and theatre is to be turned into a fictional investigation team's unit for the duration of filming, with on-location shoots elsewhere in Inverclyde.

Some filming by the Glasgow-based production firm Black Camel Pictures has already taken place in recent days at the East India Harbour and in the water off Greenock.

The Beacon has been closed for live productions since last March because of Covid, but under restrictions it can still be used for film productions.

An onlooker who spotted activity at the site said: "It is so exciting to have such a big production here and I think it is great news for the Beacon and the area. The film crews arrived and there was lots happening."

The cast and crew will be at the Beacon for the next few weeks as the cameras roll.

Actress Nicola Walker - whose credits also include The Split, Last Tango in Halifax and Touching Evil - will play the Norwegian Detective Inspector Annika Strandhed in a role she first took on in the acclaimed Radio 4 series.

Arabella Page Croft, co-founder of producers Black Camel Pictures, said: "The Beacon Arts Centre will become our sophisticated new base and home for the marine homicide unit, with its huge, beautiful glass windows directly onto the Clyde Estuary.

“We can’t wait to shoot in there and to try to capture the action of the show and the boats going up and down the waterways."

The six-part series will see Walker’s character head up a new marine murder unit.

Her on-screen daughter Morgan will be played by rising star Silvie Furneaux.

Annika will be shown on UKTV’s crime channel Alibi, which also first screened Traces, starring Martin Compston.

An arts centre spokeswoman said: "We are pleased that the stunning Beacon building and its location in Inverclyde make it an attractive filming location and, while we remain closed for performances and our usual activities, that the building can be used in this way."