Keeley Hawes to star in a BBC remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes

Former Spooks and Ashes to Ashes actress will play Mrs Todhunter in a new version of the great director's 1938 thriller

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Hot on the heels of Vertigo being named the best film of all time comes the news that Keeley Hawes is to star in a BBC re-imagining of another of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic movies: The Lady Vanishes.

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The 90-minute psychological thriller tells the story of well-to-do socialite 1930s socialite Iris Carr, who befriends a woman who disappears while travelling on a train in Eastern Europe.

The brilliantly-named Tuppence Middleton, who you may have seen playing small roles in New Tricks or Friday Night Dinner, will play Carr in the re-make and head up a cast that includes Stephanie Cole, Spooks’ Gemma Jones, Selina Cadell from Doc Martin and Green Wing’s Julian Rhind-Tutt, as well as Hawes.

Australian Film Institute Award-nominated writer Fiona Seres has adapted the script from the original source of Hitchcock’s film, Ethel Lina White’s novel The Wheel Spins, which also acted as the basis for a 1978 big-screen remake of The Lady Vanishes starring Cybill Shepherd.

The BBC’s Head of Serials Kate Harwood said of the new production: “Fiona’s adaptation of The Wheel Spins deftly weaves together the intriguing stories of a psychologically complex group of characters played out against the tense backdrop of the Balkans in the 1930s.”

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The Lady Vanishes will begin shooting in Budapest later this month and is scheduled to air on BBC1 this Christmas.