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24 September 2014
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Omar Sharif features in BBC ONE's Pyramid

The BBC announced today that legendary Egyptian actor Omar Sharif is to be the voice of Nakht, the central character in Pyramid - BBC ONE's ambitious history programme which airs on Monday 28 October at 9.00pm.

Omar Sharif is the voice of Nakht in BBC ONE's Pyramid
The programme tells the story of the Great Pyramid of Giza through the eyes of the men who built it and centres on the tale of Nakht an Egyptian conscript.

Pyramid is one of the most ambitious and visually stunning history projects ever made by the BBC and employs the cinematic production values of a feature film to bring the construction of this extraordinary Egyptian monument to life.

It is shot entirely on location on 35mm and uses complex state-of-the art special effects, produced by Mill TV - the Oscar award-winning company who created the special effects for Gladiator.

During his recording session for Pyramid, Omar Sharif said: "I grew up in Cairo and it's a family tradition among Cairenes [people who live in Cairo] to visit the pyramids.

"I can remember clearly the first time I went to Giza as a boy, and being simply overwhelmed by the vastness of what I saw.

"So vast and so stark. There's a line in the script for Pyramid which describes it well. Mountains, but mountains made by men. That's exactly how they seemed to me."

After an abortive career in the family lumber business Sharif appeared in over 20 films in his native Egypt before embarking on an international screen career with movies such as Lawrence of Arabia, Dr. Zhivago and Funny Girl.

"I have lived away from Egypt for many years now, though I still go back. But the importance of the pyramids will never leave me," he said.

"For every modern Egyptian they are an immense source of pride. No matter what happens to our nation, even when Egypt may fall on hard times, we can never be ignored.

"The world will always beat a path to Egypt's door because of our monuments, and the most magnificent of them all is Khufu's pyramid, the Great Pyramid, at Giza.

"This is an eternal legacy for the world, for all time, something that can never be taken away.

"I am proud of it, very proud. It's the real reason I am so happy to be involved with this programme."

Omar Sharif's character Nakht is not a real historical figure, but every aspect of his life is based on the most up-to-date findings of archaeology: the journey he travels, the clothes he wears, the tasks he's assigned.

Pyramid's Emmy award-winning producer Jonathan Stamp says: "Nakht's story provides a powerful emotional focus enabling the viewer to engage directly with the past.

"I'm delighted that such a distinguished actor and one of the world's most famous Egyptians has agreed to take part in this programme.

"We learn of the hardships and the great dangers of the Pyramid builders' world, and also of its comradeship and fulfillment.

"By the time we have arrived at the end of Nakht's story we will understand the Pyramid as never before."

Notes to Editors

The Pyramid press pack (33 KB) is available here, in PDF format. You may require Adobe Acrobat Software to read PDF files which can be obtained here.



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