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Shameless actor David Threlfall cast as Tommy Cooper


Shameless star David Threlfall has landed a role as the late comic Tommy Cooper - just like that.

The actor, best known for his portrayal of layabout Frank Gallagher in the Channel 4 series which ends next week, will play the entertainer in a two-hour film for ITV.

It will focus on how Cooper was torn beween his love of two women - his wife and an assistant with whom he had a lengthy affair.

Fez-wearing Cooper was a much-loved star who famously collapsed during a live TV show in 1984 - Live From Her Majesty's - and died at the age of 63.

Amanda Redman, who has left BBC1 series New Tricks, will play Cooper's wife Gwen, who was affectionately known as Dove. The actress who will play Mary Kay - the other love of his life, with whom he had a 17-year affair - has not yet been named.

The two-hour drama, called Tommy, has been written by Men Behaving Badly creator Simon Nye and filming begins next month.

The film's executive producer Andy Harries, of Left Bank Pictures, said: "Few comics have had such a lasting influence on UK culture as Tommy Cooper.

"The man was a comedy giant who spent his final years juggling his hugely successful public persona with a private passion for two women."