THE BBC has announced that a TV adaptation of Sir Ian Rankin’s best-selling Inspector Rebus character will launch this spring.

The six-part crime series, which was filmed in Edinburgh and Glasgow last year, will see Scottish actor and Outlander star Richard Rankin play the lead role of Detective Sergeant John Rebus.

Scottish author Sir Ian (below), 63, said: “I’m thrilled that Rebus is coming to the BBC.

The National: Ian Rankin

“A great cast and a compelling story – I really can’t wait for viewers to see it.”

The show – called Rebus – is written by Gregory Burke and is adapted from the best-selling novels by Sir Ian.

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Set in Edinburgh, it will reimagine the character as a younger DS who is drawn into a violent criminal conflict after he finds out his younger brother Michael, a former soldier, is involved with criminality.

Rebus will find himself torn between wanting to protect his brother and wishing to enforce the law.

Alongside Rankin, 41, as DS John Rebus, the series will star actors including Bulletproof’s Lucie Shorthouse, Versailles actor Stuart Bowman and Atonement star Michelle Duncan.

Reflecting on the new series, Rankin said: “I am thrilled that Rebus will premiere on the BBC. It’s been an honour taking on the role of Ian Rankin’s renowned John Rebus.

“A character enjoyed by so many in such a fresh and original adaptation.”

Rankin follows in the footsteps of John Hannah and Ken Stott, who played John Rebus in ITV’s adaptation, which aired in the noughties before it was axed following its final series in 2007.

Writer Burke said: “It has been a huge privilege to work on a new show with Ian Rankin’s iconic character at its centre and I couldn’t be more delighted that it is to be broadcast on the BBC.”

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Jill Green, chief executive of Eleventh Hour Films, said: “We are so excited to be bringing a fresh, modern reimagining of Rebus to a wide audience on the BBC.”

Sandra McFadden, head of business BBC Scotland Commissioning, said: “Rebus, of course, needs no introduction, being one of Scotland’s most prolific literary characters, but we’re thrilled to be bringing this new television adaptation, starring Richard Rankin, to our audiences in Scotland and across the UK.”

The first Rebus book, Knots & Crosses, was published in 1987 and Sir Ian’s detective novels have been translated into 22 languages and become bestsellers on several continents.

Rebus will air on BBC Scotland, BBC One and BBC iPlayer later this spring.