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15.08.03

TV DRAMA


Adrian Lester and Marc Warren star as con men in a new series for BBC ONE from the makers of Spooks


Adrian Lester (currently playing Henry V at the National) and Marc Warren (State of Play) are to star in Hustle, a major new drama series for BBC ONE, written by EastEnders storyline consultant Tony Jordan and produced by Kudos Film and Television.


Hustle is an action-packed blend of humour and intrigue which follows the fortunes of a group of expert con artists let loose on the streets of London. Their first rule of law is: You can't con an honest man.


Lester stars as Mickey, master of the dying art of the 'long con' and godfather of the gang.


Warren plays Danny, young, hungry and determined to prove he's got what it takes to mastermind a scam and become part of the team.


Hustle also stars Robert Glenister (Murder) as Ash, a seasoned con man, expert at picking 'marks' and finding a way into a 'target' and newcomer Jamie Murray as the beautiful, street-sharp Stacie.


Matthew Graham (Spooks, Gentleman Thief) and Ashley Pharoah (Down to Earth, Paradise Heights), both of whom have penned episodes of EastEnders alongside Tony Jordan, have also written episodes of Hustle.


The series will be directed by Bharat Nalluri, produced by Simon Crawford Collins and executive produced by Jane Featherstone (Touching Evil) and Gareth Neame, BBC Head of Drama Commissioning – replicating the successful team that brought Spooks to the BBC.


Jane Featherstone, Kudos' Head of Drama, says: "Hustle's high velocity mould-breaking approach has the same cinematic feel as Spooks.


"It's original and distinctive, but above all it is never afraid to tell shamelessly entertaining stories, presenting both the audience and the characters with some sexy moral dilemmas and keeping the viewers guessing right to the end."


Gareth Neame, BBC Head of Commissioning, says: "There's a perennial fascination with con men, tricksters and grifters - the way they work and methods we can employ to avoid being ensnared by them.


"So, following on from recent drama successes such as Cutting It and State of Play, we're delighted to have secured the commission of Hustle, an exciting, innovative and sharp drama series from the team who have made Spooks such a hit for BBC ONE."

Hustle will be filmed in locations in and around London. Filming began this week and will continue through to November 2003.


BBC ONE has also commissioned Kudos to produce a third series of the Bafta-winning series Spooks, which has just completed a highly successful second series on BBC ONE and BBC THREE.


All the BBC's digital services are now available on Freeview, the new free-to-view digital terrestrial television service, as well as on satellite and cable.

Freeview offers the BBC's eight television channels, interactive services from BBCi, as well as 11 BBC radio networks.


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