James Nesbitt to appear in The Hobbit

Image caption,
Nesbitt joins a cast headed up by Martin Freeman

James Nesbitt is the latest actor to join the cast of the Hobbit films.

The 45-year-old Cold Feet star will play Bofur, "a disarmingly forthright, funny and occasionally brave dwarf".

Director Peter Jackson said Nesbitt's "charm, warmth and wit are legendary as is his range as an actor in both comedic and dramatic roles".

It was also announced that newcomer Adam Brown will play Ori. Martin Freeman will play Bilbo Baggins in the two-part Lord of the Rings prequel.

Jackson said he felt "very lucky to be able to welcome" Nesbitt.

Other cast members confirmed include former EastEnder Rob Kazinsky and Spooks actor Richard Armitage.

Last week, New Zealand's parliament passed legislation amending labour laws to keep the production on the huge budget movies.

The change was part of a deal with Warner Bros who had threatened to move elsewhere because of a dispute with acting unions.

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