INTERNATIONALLY acclaimed Hollywood actress Charlotte Rampling will star in the next series of Broadchurch, it has been announced.

The film and television actress, who starred in The Duchess and Great Expectations, will take a lead role in Broadchurch 2 and the show's creator, Bridport-based Chris Chibnall, has confirmed the show will once again be filmed in West Bay.

The announcement of Charlotte Rampling's casting follows hot on the heels of the news that David Tennant and Olivia Colman will both return for the second series.

Talking about the addition of Charlotte Rampling to the show's cast, Mr Chibnall 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.

“As you can imagine, Charlotte's character is an integral part of our new story - but that's where we're drawing a veil, for now."

Filming for the show will start in the coming weeks and speaking to the Dorset Echo, Mr Chibnall said: "We're finally able to talk a little about preparations for the next series of Broadchurch and confirm we're coming back to film around West Bay.

“We're all thrilled about returning, especially given how supportive the whole 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."

The details of Rampling's character and how she impacts on the drama and small community are being kept under wraps by ITV and the production companies, Kudos and Imaginary Friends.

Broadchurch captivated the nation when it was first shown on air, with more than 9 million of us tuning in every week during the show's run to watch the drama of who killed Danny Latimer unfold.

Steve November, Director of Drama for ITV and Victoria Fea, Controller of Drama, commissioned the second series of the show, and confirmed there would be more casting announcements to be made in the coming weeks.

Mr November said: “We're delighted Charlotte is joining the Broadchurch family.

“She's the first of some exciting additions to the ensemble for the new series.”

Charlotte Rampling Factbox Charlotte Rampling, OBE, has had a successful career spanning almost 50 years, appearing in English, French and Italian cinema.

Her breakout role was in the 1966 film Georgy Girl, performing opposite Lynn Redgrave playing the character of Meredith.

Rampling also starred in the Vanishing Point, Henry VIII and His Six Wives and The Damned.

Her success continued to grow throughout the latter half of the 1970s, following her appearance as a concentration camp survivor in The Night Porter.

She came to prominence again in 1997 after her performance as a complicated aunt in the award-winning The Wings of the Dove.

In 2000, she was awarded an OBE in the Queen's Honours List for her services to acting and UK-French cultural relations.

Fans of American crime-drama Dexter may also recognise her as Dr Elizabeth Vogel, who appeared in the final series of the HBO show in 2013.