Maxine Peake to play Rebekah Brooks in new Comic Strip caper

The Silk and Shameless star will portray the flame-haired newspaper executive in The Comic Strip Presents…The Red Top! for UKTV channel Gold

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Maxine Peake is to play former Sun editor and newspaper executive Rebekah Brooks in a new Comic Strip adventure.

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The Silk and Shameless actress will take a broad brush approach to the role in the fantasy which has the working title Red Top! and will air on the UKTV channel Gold.

The 75-minute comedy will “tell the story of Rebekah, an innocent and beguiling Northern girl who accidentally becomes Chief Executive of News International and gets caught up in a seventies Watergate-style scandal,” according to the channel.

Red Top! has been created by Comic Strip veteran Peter Richardson and will see The Young Ones actor Nigel Planer play media mogul Rupert Murdoch with Russell Tovey taking on the role of former News of the World editor Andy Coulson.

Johnny Vegas, Alexei Sayle, Harry Enfield, James Buckley and John Sessions will also star in the film which sees Episodes star Stephen Mangan reprise the part of Tony Blair which he played in the Comic Strip adventure The Hunt for Tony Blair.

Richardson said: “The Red Top lampoons the phone hacking scandal and the world of politics and press proprietors, and is set in a colourful seventies ‘Boogie Nights’-style parallel universe with a disco soundtrack. I’m thrilled to have such a fantastic cast. It should be huge fun.”

Commissioning editor Simon Lupton added: “There’s nothing quite like The Comic Strip anywhere else in the world of comedy and so it’s incredibly exciting to be part of this next chapter. The script is wonderfully hilarious and playful, and as always the cast list is an embarrassment of riches. The Comic Strip history is littered with iconic moments, characters and performances, and I’m confident Peter and his team will be creating some more with this latest instalment.”

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The Red Top will be the second outing of the Comic Strip on Gold, following the 30th anniversary special The Comic Strip Presents… Five Go To Rehab in 2012. This was made three decades on from the group’s debut Five Go Mad In Dorset in 1982.