Lucy Jo Hudson rejoins the cast of Wild at Heart on location in South Africa

ITV and Company Pictures are delighted to announce LUCY-JO HUDSON (Looking for Eric, Coronation Street) is returning to the hugely popular Wild at Heart to reprise her role as Danny’s eldest daughter, the much loved, Rosie Trevanion.

When Rosie returns home to Leopard’s Den she is well on the way to becoming a skilled and competent vet. Danny (Stephen Tompkinson) is surprised and pleased to learn that his daughter is more than a match for him in their chosen professions.

However, all is not well at Leopard’s Den and Rosie discovers that in her absence the family have plunged into crisis following Danny’s new partnership with Ed Lynch (Robert Bathurst).

Rosie faces her first veterinary challenge when she attempts to save an injured hyena that has been mauled by its pack. However this is nothing compared to the task she faces in attempting to reconcile the family. Unbeknownst to them Rosie is also harbouring her own secret, and she worries what everyone will think of her when they find out what she’s done…

Lucy – Jo will re-join series regulars Stephen Tompkinson, Hayley Mills, Deon Stewardson, Olivia Scott-Taylor and new arrival Robert Bathurst when they all return to recreate their characters against the stunning backdrop of the South African plains.

The ten hour-long episodes from Company Pictures films for six months on location at Glen Afric on the borders of Gauteng Province and North West Province.

Since its launch in 2006 Wild at Heart has remained in ITV1’s top four dramas. And to date in 2011 Wild at Heart has the highest average audience of any ITV1 drama – 8.0 million viewers and a 26% share of the audience across the series. This represents an increase of 383k viewers (+5%) on the 2010 average.

More notably Wild at Heart has regularly pulled in audiences of over 8 million to ITV1 and it has never had an episode watched by fewer than 7 million viewers.

Stephen Tompkinson co-executive produces Wild at Heart with executive producers Charles Pattinson, John Griffin, George Faber and Ashley Pharoah. Wild at Heart is produced in South Africa by Adam Friedlander, and series produced in the UK by Charlie Hampton.

Charles Pattinson adds: “We’re delighted that Lucy-Jo is returning to reprise her role as the popular Rosie Trevanion. We hope her arrival to the new series will be a welcome surprise to long time fans of Wild at Heart.”

Wild at Heart has been recommissioned by ITV’s Drama commissioning team Laura Mackie, Sally Haynes and Steve November.

Wild at Heart writers include Ashley Pharoah, Jack Williams and Chris Murray. The lead Director will be Maurice Phillips.

© ITV

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.