Rakie Ayola is leaving Grace as Alison Vosper in season 3
19th March 2023

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Season three of Grace starts this evening (March 19) with three new films for fans to sink their teeth into. The forthcoming episodes have all been adapted from the Grace novels by best-selling author Peter James. The new series of the ITV drama kicks off with Dead Like You and will see Cassian Pewe (played by Sam Hoare) replacing ACC Alison Vosper (Rakie Ayola) after the character’s leaving do plays out in the opening instalment.

Why did Rakie Ayola leave Grace?

Addressing Ayola’s departure from Grace, Glenn Branson actor Richie Campbell told Express.co.uk and other media: “In the books, she leaves, her character leaves.”

The novels see Vosper departing with Roy Grace (John Simm) facing a menacing new nemesis in the form of Pewe.

Pewe is now Grace and Branson’s boss with the senior figure clashing with the detectives.

So, it looks like the exit was down to a narrative decision rather than the choice of the star, who has been part of the show since it first started.

The cast and crew were disappointed to see the star leave and said they would miss her.

They even tried to get the star to stay but ultimately it was down to the scripts remaining faithful to the source material with Vosper walking out the door.

Season three will see Branson and Grace outside of their roles as police officers with a more personal side to the pair and them and their dynamic.

Reflecting on the appeal of Grace and crime dramas in general, Campbell said: “It’s just trying to get into people’s psyche and trying to understand why people do things and if you can do that from the comfort of your home, it’s quite nice.

“It’s almost like voyeurism, you’re watching it. You’re trying to understand, it’s a puzzle you’re trying to fix it and there’s that gratification of ‘I fixed it’, alongside the detectives or whoever is there.”

Campbell continued: “I guess that’s the appeal when I watch things like Luther and that kind of stuff.

“I’m always putting myself in John Luther’s shows and asking, ‘Why are they doing this and why are they doing that?’ I guess that’s for most viewers.”

Actress Ayola has gone on to do other projects including appearing in season two BBC drama The Pact.

Separately, Campbell also said Branson and Vosper has a “love/hate thing” but things would be different with Pewe.

The actor said: “There was the banter between the boys about her but ultimately they knew what she was about.

“I think with Cassian he has come with baggage. There is a conversation about who he is and what he’s done previously at the Met and obviously him and Grace don’t get along.

“For Branson that’s all he knows of him but in the final episode this series he sees the human side of him and he appreciates him I think.”

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Campbell went on to say: “What is really good about Grace as a drama is it shows there are pressures at every level.

“We knew that Vosper constantly had people down her throat but with Cassian he really starts to explain to Grace and Branson that it’s not just about us guys going out and arresting people.”

According to IMDb, the BAFTA winner will next be starring in the TV series Kaos which is in post-production.

She is also appearing in the web series The Chat, made by charity Breast Cancer Now, to raise awareness of the disease.

Ayola portrays Heather, who gets a life-changing breast cancer diagnosis and shares the news with her close group of friends Jo (Indira Varma), Pip (Kate Ashfield) and Lisa (Claudie Blakley).

Over the course of 10 episodes, the friends will be communicating via text messages, video calls and voice notes as Heather’s breast cancer journey plays out.

Grace season 3 starts tonight on ITV1 at 8pm

To watch The Chat unfold weekly and for open and honest support, however you’re experiencing breast cancer or whatever questions you may have, visit breastcancernow.org/thechat 

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