Sky anthology series Urban Myths has offered a delightfully surreal spin on true life celebrity stories, with episodes involving the likes of Agatha Christie, Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson.


Sometimes catty, sometimes weird, sometimes controversial – the Michael Jackson film starring Joseph Fiennes, so antagonised the Jackson family it was pulled – the show is now preparing for a third series later this year.

Now can reveal that an upcoming subject for the next series will be called The Trial of Joan Collins.

The film will cover Collins' extraordinary real-life 1996 court case with publishers Random House, who had paid her a whopping advance for a novel, only to claim that her submitted manuscript was "unreadable".

The Crown and Doctor Foster actress Victoria Hamilton will star as Joan. The Windsors star Haydn Gwynne plays the Dynasty star’s editor (and principal antagonist) with Mark Heap playing Collins’ trial lawyer Ken Burrows. David Walliams also features as Collins' fictional boyfriend – an "amalgam" of characters, it is understood.

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“It’s the most amazing story,” says a source. “There is footage of the trial on YouTube in which Joan testifies – you have to see it to believe it.”

Channel Sky Arts is said to be so pleased with the idea that it is making the film an hour-long; Urban Myths programmes are traditionally just half an hour in length.

The Trial of Joan Collins will feature in Urban Myths series three, which is expected to air this year and will continue to play imaginatively on real-life celebrity encounters.

Other films featured in the new series including a film about Charles Dickens' unfortunate meeting with Hans Christian Andersen, starring Stephen Mangan as the English author and Ian Hart as Hans Christian Andersen. W1A’s Monica Dolan has been cast as Charles Dickens’ wife, Catherine.

Dickens and Andersen had been friends until the Danish author visited the British novelist at his family home in Kent in 1857 and drove Dickens to distraction over the five-week stay. In letters, Dickens complained that the Little Mermaid author was a "bony bore" who struggled to speak English.


Another film will be Mick and Margaret, which charts Princess Margaret’s 30-year friendship with Mick Jagger. Trainspotting’s Kelly Macdonald will play the Queen's younger sister with Fantastic Beasts' Jamie Campbell Bower, an actor who is also the lead singer of the band Counterfeit, cast as the Rolling Stones singer.