War of the Roses saga set for television adaptation

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The Tudors
Image caption,
The Tudors was a successful historical drama series which was screened on the BBC

The BBC is to screen a television series called War of the Roses based on the historical novels written by Philippa Gregory.

Ben Stephenson, the BBC's controller of drama commissioning said the programme would be a "big, fat, old soap opera".

Plans for other new dramas were announced at the Broadcasting Press Guild in London.

These include adaptations of Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone and James Herbert's The Secret of Crickley Hall.

The BBC said War Of The Roses will be told uniquely from the point of view of powerful women who "shaped their men and who shaped history in the process".

Mr Stephenson added: "We haven't quite worked out how many episodes it's going to be but it's going to be many."

Image caption,
Sean Bean will play a transsexual in Accused

Paying tribute to Gregory, he said she had an "extraordinary skill" as she "tells incredibly textual, well-researched history, but in the most page-turning way".

Acclaimed historical writer Gregory is also known for penning The Other Boleyn Girl, which was made into a film starring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson.

In December, a further Julia Donaldson book will be bought to life on television, following on from the success of The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child.

Room on the Broom tells the tale of a kind witch who invites a large collection of animals to join her on her broom.

The BBC will also introduce a new six-part series called Truckers, about a group of men and women who work for a haulage company.

It has also been announced that Sean Bean will join the cast of the next series of Jimmy McGovern's Accused, along with Anna Maxwell Martin and Stephen Graham.

Bean, who is traditionally cast in hard man roles, is to play a transsexual in the courtroom drama.

Sir Derek Jacobi and Sarah Lancashire will co-star in a new series called Antony and Cleopatra and Denis Lawson will star in New Tricks, replacing James Bolam who left the show.