SAM Heughan has been announced as one of the stars in an upcoming Channel 4 crime thriller.

The Outlander actor will be cast in the eight-part crime series alongside James Nesbitt, Richard E Grant, Joely Richardson and Ben Miller.

Suspect – the working title for the show – follows veteran detective, Danny Frater (Nesbitt), who turns up at a hospital mortuary for what he thinks is a routine ID check on a young woman’s body.

But he receives a devastating shock: the corpse turns out to be his estranged daughter, Christin, played by Imogen King.

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Danny is traumatized by the news that according to the post-mortem report, she's taken her own life. Danny and Christina had a complicated father-daughter relationship in recent years, but he refuses to accept that she would have ended her own life.

He sets out on a mission for the truth, retracing her last days and hours, in an agonising crusade to discover what really happened to his only child.

Through a series of intense exchanges with those closest to Christina, including her godfather Ryan, played by Heughan, Danny learns about his daughter’s descent into delinquency.

He is forced to confront his own failings as a father whilst struggling to make sense of a mass of contradictory testimony and circumstantial evidence, and he must decide who, if anyone, is responsible for Christina’s death and what he’s going to do about it.

Nesbitt said the programme had an "incredible array of acting talent" on board.

He said: "I could relate to Danny, with his flaws, vulnerabilities and the devastating situation he faces, from the very first moment I picked up the script.

"Each episode of Suspect is an intensely theatrical double-hander, a psychological battle of wits between Danny and another character who may know something about his daughter's untimely death, and I really can't wait to lock horns with my fellow cast members and to lead this incredible array of acting talent."

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Channel 4's head of drama, Caroline Hollick, who commissioned the series, said: “I am absolutely delighted to welcome James Nesbitt back to Channel 4 to take the lead in this gripping, visceral thriller.

"It’s a testament to James’ star power and Matt’s gripping scripts that Suspect has attracted such a sensationally stellar ensemble cast.”

The series will be directed by Dries Vos and produced by Ed King and has been written and adapted by Matt Baker.