Ben Whishaw to star in BBC2 series London Spy

The Skyfall actor will return to his espionage roots as he takes a starring role in the five-part series, RadioTimes.com can exclusively reveal

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Ben Whishaw is to star in major new BBC2 drama London Spy. The British actor – best known for playing Q in the James Bond films – will take a step back into the world of espionage, playing Danny in the five-part thriller set to begin filming in London next month. 

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The drama – first commissioned in February – is the first TV project from author Tom Rob Smith (the Child 44 trilogy) and is set in the centre of London in a street with the headquarters of the Secret Intelligence Service on one side and the HQ of gay clubbing on the other.

“Ben Whishaw is quite simply one of the best actors in the country,” said Rob Smith. “It’s an extraordinary privilege, as a writer, to have him play the lead.”

The upcoming thriller will tell the story of a chance romance between gregarious, hedonistic Danny and anti-social but brilliant Alex who suddenly disappears leaving his lover to try and track down the truth amid the complex and codified world of espionage. 

“This is a beautifully written love story, caught up in a spy thriller,” said Polly Hill, BBC’s head of independent drama. “A wonderfully complex and surprising story, of one man’s search for the truth.” 

The drama is set to come to BBC2 in 2015, with filming beginning next month and additional “stellar casting” to be announced soon. 

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Whishaw is looking at a busy conclusion to 2014, reprising his role as geeky Q opposite Daniel Craig in Bond 24 which is due to shoot in the UK and Italy from early December. He’ll next be seen in Paddington this November, providing the voice for the eponymous bear, alongside Hugh Bonneville, Nicole Kidman and Peter Capaldi.