DI Ray viewers amazed to spot Coronation Street star in first episode

DI Ray star Ian Puleston-Davies
Corrie's Ian Puleston-Davies stars in DI Ray. (Image credit: ITV)

DI Ray started on ITV over the Bank Holiday weekend, with many tuning in to watch the new drama starring Parminder Nagra. And viewers were pleased to see a Coronation Street favourite among the cast.

In DI Ray, we follow the titular character DI Rachita Ray (Nagra), as she achieves an important promotion at work where she's asked to join a homicide investigation. The promotion comes after she successfully chased and calmed down a knifeman while she was off-duty.

However, it seems her promotion might be a bit more complicated than she first thought, as she soon finds out the murder is a ‘Culturally Specific Homicide', leading her to question whether or not she's only been assigned to it because of her race.

The drama unfolds over four consecutive nights, and Parminder Nagra is joined by a great cast, including Coronation Street star Ian Puleston-Davies who plays senior officer Supt. Ross Beardsmore.

Fans were delighted to see Ian on their screens in a new role, which differs considerably from his Corrie character Owen Armstrong, who he played between 2010 and 2015. 

In the ITV soap, Owen was a builder who struck up a relationship with Anna Windass (Debbie Rush), and fans are pleased to see 'Owen from Corrie' trying a brand new role, swapping the building site for the police station...

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This isn't the first time Ian has been in a grittier role, as he's also appeared in Four Lives, Anne and Marcella, before recently appearing in DI Ray as the superintendent working alongside Rachita, and we should be seeing more from him in upcoming episodes as the case unravels.

DI Ray runs across consecutive nights, concluding on Thursday, May 5, with the mini-series produced by Line of Duty's Jed Mercurio. 

When asked about her character, Parminder Nagra told What to Watch: "She’s really persistent in her work, despite what her male colleagues think of her being promoted. But at the same time, she wonders: Why did I really get this job? Because I just ticked a box? It all comes back to your own self-worth and what you believe in."

DI Ray continues on ITV tonight and is also available on ITV Hub.

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress