Phillipa Gregory adaptation The White Queen heading for BBC1

Set against the backdrop of the War of the Roses, the 10-hour series will tell the compelling story of the women involved in the prolonged conflict for the throne

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Phillipa Gregory adaptation The White Queen heading for BBC1
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Those who felt the 2008 film The Other Boleyn Girl (pictured above) rushed through Phillipa Gregory’s novel at too brisk a pace will be pleased to learn that the BBC has announced a major new multiple-episode adaptation of her historical novel series The Cousin’s War.

Ten hours will be devoted to the series, which is to be screened under the title The White Queen, and will air on BBC One in 2013.

The White Queen, set against the backdrop of the War of the Roses, is the compelling story of the women involved in the prolonged conflict for the throne. Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort and Anne Neville are just some of the characters set to appear.

Controller of BBC Drama, Ben Stephenson, has said it will be “one of the most ambitious series the BBC has made”, and will feature “a cast of extraordinary new talent and some of our finest actors”.

The cast includes Rebecca Ferguson, the Swedish model and actress. She will play Elizabeth Woodville, the young woman who falls in love with Edward IV. David Oakes (The Borgias), Eleanor Tomlinson (Alice and Wonderland), Juliet Aubrey (The Constant Gardner), Michael Maloney (Accused) and Robert Pugh (Game of Thrones) have also been cast.

The White Queen will be made by Company Pictures, a production company responsible for a diverse selection of dramas including Skins (E4), Shameless (C4), Elizabeth I (C4 and HBO) and Inspector George Gently (BBC). It will be shot on location in Bruges, Belgium, with support from BNP Paribas Fortis Film Fund.

Hopefully it will receive a warmer critical reception than The Other Boleyn Girl, also co-produced by the BBC, which was described as “crass” and for having “all the subtlety of an axe” by RadioTimes.com critic Stella Papamichael.