Jo Joyner, a former EastEnders star, has committed to a new Australian-set drama airing during prime time on Channel 5.
The actress has earned the main part in Riptide, a psychological thriller produced by Fremantle Australia, the team behind Neighbours.
Two well-known characters from Neighbours have also been cast in the programme.
The drama’s main character will be played by Peter O’Brien, who recently returned to the Australian soap opera as Shane Ramsay for its last weeks.
Ben Turland, who won plaudits for his performances in the devastating final Neighbours narrative written by Hendrix Greyson, will also appear.
Jo will play Alison, a woman whose life is turned upside down after her new Australian husband goes missing after going surfing in the morning.
It is unknown whether he was swept away by a strong riptide or whether there is another explanation for his absence, which creates a fascinating mystery.
Production on the movie Riptide, which will be shot in Melbourne, begins this week.
The programme is one of two original Channel 5 dramas that Fremantle is producing in collaboration with Network Ten in Australia.
Jo spoke about her new position: “I am beyond thrilled to be portraying Alison and working with the incredible colleagues at Fremantle, Channel 5 and 10 in Australia.
“Her world is thrown upside down just as it felt like her life was coming together, and she is such a loving and complex character. I am also overjoyed to be filming in the beautiful countryside around Melbourne, which is a place I have always wanted to visit.”
Ciarán Griffiths from Shameless, David Berry from Outlander, Ally Fowler from Wentworth, and Pia Miranda are among the other cast members.
Alongside newcomers Benjamin Samaddar and Sonya Suares, actors Asher Yasbincek (The Heights, Heartbreak High), and Yazeed Daher (The Hunting, Safe Harbour), have also been cast.
The popularity of the Channel 5 television series Lie With Me, which was set in Australia and starring EastEnders actress Charlie Brooks, led to the commission of Riptide.
The programme is produced by Neighbours executive producer Jason Herbison, and it is directed by Neighbours director and former cast member Scott Major.
As Jason Herbison said: “I’m ecstatic to carry on our collaboration with Channels 5 and 10 and bring Riptide to life. The best casts and teams from Britain and Australia will be working together, and I can’t wait for the public to see what we have in store.”
According to Greg Barnett, commissioning editor for unscripted, factual entertainment on Channel 5 and Paramount+: “The success of Lie With Me among our viewers has inspired me to expand our drama lineup even further, collaborating with our production partners Fremantle Australia and Network 10.
Jo is a phenomenal talent, and I am excited to see what she will contribute to this position.
Later this year, information on the second Channel 5 drama with an Australian setting will be made public.