THE return of Broad-church with star David Tennant heading the cast is a ‘dream come true’, say West Bay businesses.

And now makers of the crime drama written by Bridport’s Chris Chibnall have confirmed that Hollywood leading lady Charlotte Rampling will be starring alongside Tennant and Olivia Colman.

Award-winning writer Chris Chibnall said keeping quiet about Rampling’s involvement had been agony – but also made a plea to locals to keep secrets as filming progresses in West Bay.

He said: “We’ve been keeping this secret for months, it’s been agony.

“We have another big story to tell this year, and that meant finding exceptional actors for new roles. There's none more exceptional than Charlotte. To be writing for her is a dream come true.

“We’re all thrilled about returning, especially given how supportive the community was last time. We’ll do our best to minimise disruption to your daily lives: forgive us if you’re occasionally inconvenienced.

“And if you’re able to keep our secrets as well as you did last time, we’ll be ever so grateful.”

Reservations have been made at The Bull Hotel, where the cast and crew stayed for the first series, and the production company’s location manager has been spotted in West Bay.

Although businesses used before are keeping tight-lipped about whether they have been approached again they are all thrilled the series is back.

Becky Black, cafe manager at the Watch House said: “It’s a dream come true. It is great for the Watch House because we know that Chris Chibnall has written one of the episodes in the café.

“To think that we have maybe helped with the inspiration for some episodes is thrilling.”

Café owner Steve Attrill said Broadchurch had made a huge difference to tourism.

“What a fabulous way to showcase the Jurassic coast and all those cliffs. For us it is a dream come true. It helps us show everything that is great about Dorset.”

Richard Attrill, whose Harbour News featured heavily as the newsagents in the first series, said: “This past month alone we have had Dutch people in who have only just had it on TV over there. So it is still having an effect so when we get the next series it will hopefully keep boosting the area. The Broadchurch effect is great.”

Steve Tucker from the Ellipse Café, which featured as the police station, said: “It was great fun to have them in here and we really enjoyed it. It is fantastic news that David Tennant is in it, obviously he is the big name and that is going to make sure that everybody is watching.”

Scott Condliffe, chairman of the Bridport and District Tourism Association, said: “Chris Chibnall is a great writer, he had us all hooked last time and I am sure he will do it again in the second series.

“The area does benefit from the exposure on television, we certainly did last time.”

Becca Overton from Lyme Regis, who manages the Broadchuch fan page on Facebook which has more than 90,000 ‘likes’, said: “I am absolutely chuffed that David Tennant will be returning.

“The Facebook page went crazy when the news was announced. I am very interested to see what happens in the show with the characters coming back, will it carry on from last time or will it be a different story with the same characters?”

Steve November, director of drama for ITV and Victoria Fea, controller of drama, commissioned the second series and confirmed there would be more casting announcements to come.

l For the latest news on casting see the Bridport News website