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Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

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Five Days returns to BBC One: additional character synopsis

Ibra Akram (Aaron Neil) and Nusra Preston (Shivani Ghai)

Aaron Neil (Ibra Akram)

Friendly and easy-going, Ibra is a local cab driver and a well-respected pillar of the community who loves his family and wants to see them flourish.  

Ashley Walters (Jamal Matthews)

One of the serial's most intriguing characters, Jamal Matthews initially appears as a challenge to Laurie (Suranne Jones).  Increasingly frustrated at being stuck on the halted train he revels in taking her on, despite the knowledge that she's a police officer. 

Mouthy and self-opinionated, he's a man of complications – a devout Muslim and a cornerstone of the local mosque, viewers later discover there is a positive link between Jamal and Nusrat's family.

Bernard Hill (Gerard Hopkirk)

A keen train-spotter, Gerard is full of advice for policewoman Laurie (Suranne Jones) when their paths cross on the train, much to her irritation. When Laurie's mother, Jen (Anne Reid), takes a shine to Gerard, Laurie's not so pleased and starts to wonder what Gerard's up to.

What would he want with a woman who is clearly in the early stages of dementia? With Jen in an increasingly vulnerable state, Laurie is keen to protect her, but Gerard's got other ideas and proves more than a match. Will Laurie's suspicions about Gerard prove correct?

Chris Fountain (PC Paul Tait)

The butt of many jokes, fresh-faced PC Tait is just out of training and is the youngest member of DI Mal Craig's (David Morrissey) team.

Derek Riddell (Nick Durden)

Nick Durden, father of five-year-old Gemma, is still recovering from the death of his wife, Gemma's mother and sister of social worker Colly (Nina Sosanya).

Previously, the couple had fostered children together but Nick hasn't felt able to since her death – until now. When a baby is abandoned in a local hospital, Nick is the only foster parent with experience of newborns in the area. This is to bring him back into contact with his sister-in-law, Colly, who he has barely seen since his wife's death.

Most importantly, it brings him into the life of baby Michael and the search to find his real parents.

Hugo Speer (Superintendent Jim Carpenter)

When the case becomes a murder investigation, Jim Carpenter is forced to abandon his day job as police superintendent to act as Senior Investigating Officer for a new investigative team. 

Wry and difficult to impress, he proves a challenging boss to Laurie and Mal. He spends a large proportion of his time disparaging Laurie's attempts to concoct stories and surmise possible answers. He wants hard evidence before he makes a conclusion. And hard evidence is something they just don't have…

Navin Chowdhry (Bilal Choudry)

When viewers first meet Bilal Choudry he could easily be mistaken as an outsider on the wrong side of the law, but who is he? What is his link to the case and the body at the centre of the police investigation?

Shaun Dooley (Sgt Don Parker)

British Transport Police Sergeant Don Parker and Laurie Franklin (Suranne Jones) immediately rub each other up the wrong way when they meet on the rail tracks after the incident involving the train.

As far as an irritated Parker is concerned, this is his case and Laurie should back off – she's done quite enough damage already. Parker, like his old friend Mal Craig, is dismissive of Laurie's hypothesising. But he soon finds out that Laurie's not so easy to shake off when she's seconded onto the investigation.

The two are forced to work alongside each other and even find themselves on the same side when it seems that the investigation might be taken away from them.

Shivani Ghai (Nusrat Preston)

Right at the heart of the serial is Nusrat – a devoted wife and daughter, a real force for good, adored by her whole family and equally committed to her faith.

Nusrat is the loving wife of Danny Preston (Matthew McNulty), conductor of the ill-fated Trans-Pennine train at the heart of the mystery. The pair have known each other since childhood and Danny has converted to the faith in order to marry his beloved Nusrat. 

Now, the only thing the couple want is to have a baby. As viewers meet the couple they are in the middle of a testing adoption process.

At the same time, a tiny baby is mysteriously abandoned in a local hospital.  And when Nusrat's father, Ibra (Aaron Neil), reads news reports about the event he wonders whether this might be a perfect match. The more she wonders about his suggestion, the more Nusrat begins to imagine the possibilities.

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