Preview: Imagine...Ian Rankin and the Case of the Disappearing Detective

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IT is now five years since Detective Inspector John Rebus last hit the beat on Edinburgh’s streets, leaving Britain’s most successful crime writer, Ian Rankin, with a challenge of his own - what to write about next.

In Imagine... Ian Rankin and the Case of the Disappearing Detective, Rankin allows viewers to get up close and personal as BBC TV arts presenter Alan Yentob, pictured left with Rankin, follows him for six months as he writes his next novel.

Rankin’s maverick cop, Rebus, propelled him to fame as an author, but having retired his most famous creation half a decade ago, Rankin is now faced with a dilemma as to what his next sunbject matter will be.

Rankin’s creative process, starts in December 2011 with a trawl through his folder of notes, newspaper clippings and story ideas scribbled on the back of napkins. Through intimate video diary footage, viewers then see him wrestle with his demons and various unfolding plots.

By June, the writer has finished his novel. It promises to be a big surprise, but the question is will it please his demanding fans.

Imagine... Ian Rankin and the Case of the Disappearing Detective, BBC One, Tuesday, 10.35pm