BOLTON will once again take centre stage as the hit crime drama Bancroft returns for a second series.

Sarah Parish will back in the town later this year for filming as the Broadchurch and W1A actor reprises her role as respected yet ruthless police officer DCI Elizabeth Bancroft for Bancroft II.

The series was one of ITV’s best performing dramas of 2017 with a series average of 6.7 million and a 25.1 per cent share of the available audience in December.

The new four-part series of Bancroft will focus on the lead character's loneliness after being estranged from her beloved son Joe as well as her dangerous pact with crime boss Daanish Kamara, both of which are at odds with her successful career trajectory.

Bancroft is produced by Tall Story Pictures.

The programme's creator Kate Brooke said: "In Bancroft I wanted to explore a contentious anti-heroine, a woman we love and loathe in equal measure.

"I'm thrilled to be continuing her story. In this new series the repercussions of her past actions will come back to bite her in ways she could never have expected."

Catherine Oldfield, executive producer at Tall Story Pictures, added: "That the audience took to Elizabeth Bancroft in all her terrible, distorted glory in such numbers is fantastic. Kate has loads of brilliant twists and turns in store for this new series and I can’t wait to see what Sarah and the cast do with them."

Filmed on location in and around Bolton and the North West of England, Bancroft will go into production later this year. Bolton was chosen deliberately because of its 'incredible Victorian crescent, town hall and civic centre' — with the producer of the first series Phil Collinson describing it as feeling like Paris or New York.

Bancroft II has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama, Polly Hill.

She said: "We’re delighted with the audience response to Bancroft and to be working again with Sarah Parish as the manipulative policewoman. Kate Brooke is working on the next phase of Bancroft’s journey, which promises to be as intriguing as series one."

Further details of casting and key production appointments will be announced closer to filming commencing.