Hannibal actor Brian Cox to play Speaker of the House of Commons in expenses drama
Wednesday 09 December 2009
Brian Cox, the actor best known for his roles as Hannibal Lecter and the corrupt CIA boss in two of the Bourne movies, was today lined up to play former House of Commons Speaker Michael Martin.
The Scottish star will play the MP, who was forced to resign in the fall-out from the expenses scandal, in a new BBC4 drama.
Freefall and Bleak House actress Anna Maxwell Martin will also appear in the film, playing journalist and campaigner Heather Brooke who helped to bring the expense claims into the open.
The one-off 60-minute drama, Bringing Down The House, will feature Tim Pigott-Smith as Labour MP Alan Keen, and Neil Pearson as Hugh Tomlinson QC, who successfully led the legal campaign to force the Commons to publish the claims.
The film follows the five-year campaign of US journalist Brooke for the disclosure of MPs' claims under the Freedom of Information Act, which sparked one of this year's biggest news stories.
Brooke, who was living in London, was writing a book on the Freedom of Information Act and found her efforts to uncover MPs' expenses blocked.
She brought a case which went to the High Court, but a whistleblower eventually sold the details to the Daily Telegraph.
The film has been scripted by Tony Saint who was behind the acclaimed Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk To Finchley and BBC4's Micro Men.
Executive producer Patrick Spence said: "Heather Brooke's story is both inspirational and timely, and we're delighted to announce such an esteemed cast to bring Tony Saint's witty script to life."
Filming has already begun and the drama is due to be screened early next year.
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