Skip to main content

Silent Witness legend Amanda Burton reveals why she's returned

Silent Witness season 25 Amanda Burton as Prof. Sam Ryan
Silent Witness star Amanda Burton is finally back as Sam Ryan. (Image credit: BBC/David Emery)

Silent Witness legend Amanda Burton has revealed why she agreed to make a surprise return to the drama.

The hugely popular star is reprising her part as pathologist Sam Ryan, a massive 18 years after she left the role!

Amanda is back for Silent Witness season 25, which is expected to be shown shortly on BBC1.

Talking about why she agreed to come back, Amanda revealed: "The shock! It's wonderful to be very surprised sometimes. Genuinely, these things don't often come one's way. I just thought, 'What a great idea! How brilliant that they're thinking of doing that!' I thought the storyline was quite bold and I really liked that. 

"After meeting the producers, I just loved what they were thinking for Sam, I was very much on their wavelength. It was such an attractive idea and I would have been absolutely mad not to do it!"

Amanda Burton as Sam Ryan in Silent Witness

Sam Ryan is a true great of the series. (Image credit: BBC)

Amanda joined the show back in 1996 and starred in 54 episodes before leaving in 2004 when her character left for Northern Ireland.

In the new series, she will star alongside Emilia Fox (Nikki Alexander), David Caves (Jack Hodgson) and Genesis Lynea (Simone Tyler).

Amanda added she's had a great time working with fellow Silent Witness legend Emilia.

"It was wonderful. Coming together with Emilia, who's held this show together so brilliantly for so many years, was lovely. It was extraordinarily special. To see these two powerful characters working together was amazing. In the script, they call them the two titans of the medical world.

"Emilia is just an incredibly generous actress. There was a really nice sense of trust between us. We fed off each other a lot, and there were just genuinely lovely, warm, empathetic responses from both of us. And you don't get that every day.”

Amanda went on to explain that returning to the series felt like coming home.

"It was genuinely a really, lovely thing to step into Sam's shoes again and to catch up with who she is now and where she is in her life. I loved the fact that she was still very much pioneering and busy and connected — that meant a lot to me. 

"I was very, very happy that she wasn't being tracked down to some sort of remote corner of a British village where she was judging hen competitions!"

Silent Witness season 25 will start soon on the BBC. We can surely expect some huge surprises in the new series. Check out our best BBC dramas guide for more shows to enjoy. For full TV listing check our UK TV guide.

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.


Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 


David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.


Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!