Luther and Hollow Crown actors set to star in BBC Zadie Smith drama NW

Nikki Amuka-Bird and Phoebe Fox will lead the BBC2 adaptation of the bestselling novel

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Luther star Nikki Amuka-Bird and Hollow Crown actor Phoebe Fox are set to star in the BBC adaptation of Zadie Smith novel NW.

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The two actors have begun filming the BBC2 drama based on Smith’s bestselling book, a story of two friends who grew up together in north west London but now live very different lives.

The 90-minute drama is directed by Saul Dibb, director of The Duchess starring Kiera Knightley. Amuka-Bird, best known for playing DC Erin Gray opposite Idris Elba in BBC1 drama Luther, will play Natalie, while Fox will play her longest friend Leah.

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Nikki Amuka-Bird will play Natalie in the new drama

“I am thrilled that NW is being made and especially pleased that Nikki Amuka-Bird is to play Natalie, a powerful stage actress who I know will bring depth and heart to the role,” said author Zadie Smith.

Amuka-Bird added, “NW was my postcode for many years and I was amazed to read a book that so brilliantly and honestly captured the reality of life in one of our most multi-cultural suburbs, so it’s thrilling to be involved in bringing it to the screen.”

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Phoebe Fox co-stars as Leah. “Zadie Smith wrote such an honest book about not just North West London but the whole city, and the complex people that inhabit it,” she said.

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The one-off drama is co-produced by BBC2 and Mammoth Screen, the producers of Poldark. The novel has been adapted by screenwriter Rachel Bennette.