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Doc Martin star to play Arthur Conan Doyle in new drama

Doc Martin star Martin Clunes will play Sherlock Holmes' creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in a new drama inspired by one of the writer's real-life cases.

ITV's Arthur and George is based on a novel by Booker Prize winner Julian Barnes about Conan Doyle's efforts to clear an Anglo-Indian solicitor who was jailed for a crime he did not commit at the turn of the 20th century.

ITV boss Peter Fincham said the "wonderful" story would be made into a three-part drama.

He said: "It's about Conan Doyle who himself gets drawn into an extraordinary mystery with racial overtones which makes it a very modern story though it's set in 1903".

Barnes' novel recounts the case of George Edalji who served three years hard labour after being convicted on a charge of injuring a pony, but was pardoned after Conan Doyle campaigned on his behalf.

The broadcaster is also making a new crime drama about a pioneering case that saw DNA used as evidence for the first time.

The show, called Code Of A Killer, features Shameless star David Threlfall as detective David Baker who worked with Leicester University academic Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys on the case.

Mr Fincham said: "It's the first ever case where a conviction in a crime was established by DNA and it took place in the mid-80s and the man who cracked this code was a man called Alec Jeffreys who was in Leicester and the crime was committed four miles away".

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