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Joy for Charlene as killer thriller Ripper Street gets go-ahead for second series

BBC drama Ripper Street -- which was filmed in Dublin -- has been given the green light for a second series.

The period drama stars Irish actress Charlene McKenna and has been a hit in both the UK and Ireland.

Filming on the second series -- which will have eight episodes -- will begin soon and it's believed Charlene's character will make a return.

As one of Ireland's leading actresses, she became a household name after starring roles in hit Irish dramas such as Raw and Pure Mule.

The actress has recently left her role as feisty chef Jojo in Raw so she could concentrate on furthering her career abroad. However, she has not ruled out a return to the RTE series.

Charlene (27) , who is now based in London, is currently in Los Angeles for casting season.

Ripper Street was shot on location in Dublin last April bringing hit actors such as Pride And Prejudice star Matthew MacFadyen to these shores.

Set in Victorian London in the aftermath of the Jack the Ripper murders, the BBC1 series sparked complaints about on-screen violence.

Speaking to the Herald recently, IFTA-winning actress Charlene defended the show's gory storylines.

"I think some people were shocked at how grim it is," Charlene said.

"They would come up to me and say, 'God, that's very graphic', but I was like, 'Hello, it's called Ripper Street!"

Despite the complaints, a large audience of more than seven million tuned in for the Sunday night drama, featuring Matthew Macfadyen as Detective Inspector Edmund Reid, and Charlene as prostitute Rose.

Charlene recently spoke about her enjoyment at playing the role and played down a permanent move to America because of her commitment to the BBC drama.

"I'm not moving to LA. Filming on Ripper Street takes around five months so if a second season goes ahead that will take up a large part of my year," she told the Herald.

"A lot of actors go to LA but it is really exciting and Ripper Street is going prime time in America so it's a natural step to take."

BBC drama commissioning controller Ben Stephenson welcomed the news.

"Quality and ambition run through 'Ripper Street', from Richard Warlow's original scripts, the incredible cast and the captivating direction," he said. "All combine to create a period series with a modern and gripping edge that will return for a second series in 2014."

hnews@herald.ie