So Solid Ashley Walters joins the best Hustlers in the UK... and the US
One of the UK's most exciting up-and-coming acting talents, Ashley Walters, is to join the Hustle gang for series four of BBC ONE's hit con drama which has just started filming in and around London.
The star of critically-acclaimed film Bullet Boy and a former member of So Solid Crew, Walters is to join the gang as Billy Bond, a street kid who has spent most of his formative years in and out of care homes.
Billy is a big fan of the infamous Danny Blue and is keen to join the crew in a bid to get off the streets, learn from the masters of the long con and finally find a loving family.
Ashley says: "I am a huge Hustle fan and watched all of the last three series, so I am incredibly excited about joining the gang. It's a massive honour for me to be working alongside actors that I hugely admire, especially Robert Vaughn - he's a legend! It's really exciting but also absolutely terrifying!
"Billy is a great character to play: he's very cool, streetwise and quite cocky; he's got all the talk which works wonders with the ladies, but scratch the surface and it's just an act.
"He is pretty vulnerable and all he really wants is the security and love of a real family, something he never had when he was growing up."
Ashley's previous credits include the films Get Rich or Die Tryin', Stormbreaker and the much talked-about Life and Lyrics.
Ashley has also just finished filming movie thrillers Waz (with Selma Blair and Melissa George) and Sugarhouse Lane (with Steven Mackintosh and Andy Serkis).
Hustle is Ashley's TV debut in a lead role.
Hustle goes Stateside.
The new series also sees the team travel to the bright lights of Vegas.
The UK's finest are determined to try their luck on the greedy fat cats of Los Angeles and Las Vegas as episodes one and six will be filmed, for the first time, in America.
The first three series, which were shown on American Movie Classics (AMC) earlier this year, received such a phenomenal response that Adrian Lester has had several offers for parts in US pilots and, due to a clash of filming dates, he will not be reprising his role of team leader, Mickey Bricks, for this series.
Simon Crawford Collins, Executive Producer of Hustle and Head of Drama at Kudos says: "Kudos is very excited to once again be working with the best Hustlers in town - Marc Warren, Robert Glenister, Jaime Murray and Robert Vaughn.
"It is a shame that, due to his current filming commitments, Adrian cannot join us this time round but his new projects are a great testament to his talent and the success of Hustle in the US.
"However, we are thrilled to welcome Ashley to the fold. He is one of the UK's hottest new talents and will add a new dimension and vibe to this fourth series.
"Billy is a dab hand at the short-con but has great ambition to master the long-con. He is desperate to find a 'family' who will take him in as one of their own and he believes he's found it in Danny, Albert, Ash and Stacie; although he has to get past Danny's stringent interview criteria first!"
Hustle series four is written by creator Tony Jordan with additional episodes written by Nick Fisher (Manchild) and Colin Bytheway (Holby City).
The producer is Jolyon Symonds (Kevin and Perry Go Large) and it is executive produced by Simon Crawford Collins, Jane Featherstone and Karen Wilson from Kudos.
Further casting details are to follow in due course.