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Shakespearean role for Downton star

Downton Abbey's Hugh Bonneville is to star in the BBC's latest Shakespeare adaptations, joining cast members including Dame Judi Dench and Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch.

The actor will play the Duke of Gloucester, with Oscar-nominated Sally Hawkins as his wife, in Henry VI Part 1.

The play is one of three that will make up the BBC2 series The Hollow Crown: The Wars Of The Roses alongside Henry VI Part 2 and Richard III, with Cumberbatch taking the title role in the latter.

The cast also includes Keeley Hawes, Sophie Okonedo and Sienna Miller's partner Tom Sturridge.

The first three programmes, adaptations of Richard II, Henry IV Part I and Henry IV Part 2, starred Ben Whishaw and Tom Hiddleston and were a huge critical success.

Channel boss Kim Shillinglaw also announced a two-part drama based on Iain Banks' novel Stonemouth - the first TV adaptation of his work since his death last year.

The drama, described as "a rite of passage tale", will start filming in October.

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