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Bill Nighy to star in Sir David Hare MI5 drama for BBC

Billy Nighy in The Boat That Rocked

Story by Jack Foley

BILL Nighy and Rachel Weisz are to star in a new spy thriller for BBC2 that will be written by Oscar nominee Sir David Hare.

Page Eight will mark Sir David’s first original screenplay in 20 years and will also star Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon and Ewen Bremner.

Nighy will, however, take the lead as a long-serving M15 officer who is forced to quit his job in order to find the truth behind a mystery file that threatens its stability.

Sir David commented: “The last decade has been as testing as any in the history of the British intelligence community. The compromises and dilemmas they’ve faced in the new century make a fascinating story.

“I’m thrilled to be working with such an extraordinary ensemble of great actors.”

Filiming on the drama is due to begin this month (January) and will be screened on BBC Two later this year.

Best-known as an award-winning playwright, Sir David was twice Oscar nominated for The Hours in 2002 and The Reader in 2008.

He will also direct Page Eight in what marks a significant turnaround in fortunes for the writer given that he criticised the BBC in 2009 for lacking imagination.