Adrian Lester returns for new series of hit con drama Hustle
Adrian Lester returns to the role of Mickey "Bricks" Stone for the fifth series of BBC One's hit con drama, Hustle, from Kudos Film and Television in association with Red Planet Pictures for transmission next year.
Robert Glenister and Robert Vaughn also return as Mickey's fellow con artists, Ash "Three Socks" Morgan and Albert Stroller.
Following his stint in Australia selling the Sydney Opera House to an unsuspecting punter, Mickey has returned to a new London.
The credit crunch has hit Britain and while the majority of the nation are tightening their belts, there are still a scurrilous and greedy few who are getting ever richer from others' losses – the perfect marks for the best grifter in the business – and Mickey is keen to put new and inventive plans into action to extract their cash!
However, it's not just the financial state of the nation that has seen a change; Mickey's crew is looking somewhat depleted too.
Ash is back to short cons while Danny and Stacey are grifting their way across the US.
Even Mickey's old friend and mentor, Albert, seems to have disappeared but Mickey soon finds that he has finally been busted and is currently detained at Her Majesty's pleasure.
However, far from desperate to get out of prison, Albert is living the life of Riley; catching up on his reading, playing cards with the guards and watching his favourite TV shows!
But the art of the long con is in his blood and Albert naturally has a few marks up his sleeve, ready and waiting to be relieved of their cash.
Mickey is determined that he and Ash get a new crew together but with Albert's tip-off for a potential mark ready for the taking they have more pressing matters at hand, starting with an obnoxious young woman who's made a killing in dubious property developments.
Adrian Lester says: "It's great to finally get back into Mickey's shoes after a very busy couple of years both here and in the US.
"Tony [Jordan] and I have been discussing all sorts of stories and ideas for the next series and he has written some brilliant scripts with some classic twists – I'm already practising my pickpocketing!"
Hustle creator, writer and, for this new series, executive producer, Tony Jordan says: "After a year's break it's so exciting to come up with new cons for Mickey and the gang to pull on a myriad of greedy scumbags.
"Whilst Mickey has been away working the ultimate long con in Oz, his crew have all gone their separate ways.
"So, now he's back in Blighty, Mickey's intent on getting back to business because as long as there is someone who wants something for nothing, Mickey will be there, happy to take a great deal of money off their hands for nothing in return."
Karen Wilson, Executive Producer for Kudos, says: "It's a great privilege to have Adrian back in the Hustle fold alongside audience favourites Robert Glenister and Robert Vaughn.
"Mickey and Ash have their work cut out conning a new set of 'victims' when their legendary roper is in the clink but if anyone can do it Mickey Bricks can!"
Polly Hill, the BBC's Commissioning Editor of Independent Drama, says: "We are delighted that Adrian Lester returns to Hustle as Mickey Bricks.
"Tony Jordan's wonderful scripts see him return to a different London but using the same delicious scams. This series promises to offer everything that we love about Hustle but with an exciting new twist."
The new series of Hustle will start filming in and around London this summer for transmission on BBC One in 2009.
Hustle is written and created by Tony Jordan with additional writing credits for Fintan Ryan (Party Animals), Tom Butterworth (Birthday Girl), Marston Bloom (Hotel Babylon) and newcomer Chris Hurford.
The lead director is James Strong (Doctor Who), producer is Kerry Appleyard (M.I. High) and executive producers are Karen Wilson and Simon Crawford-Collins for Kudos and Tony Jordan for Red Planet Pictures.
Hustle was commissioned by Jane Tranter, BBC Controller, Fiction.