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PRODUCTION / FUNDING UK / Sweden

David Tennant to topline NENT and ITV’s new series Litvinenko

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- The four-part show will follow the titular former Russian Federal Security Service and KGB officer, whose death from polonium poisoning triggered a hugely complex investigation

David Tennant to topline NENT and ITV’s new series Litvinenko
Actor David Tennant

British film and TV director Jim Field Smith (the series Criminal and Truth Seekers) is set to helm Litvinenko, a brand-new, four-part series telling the story of Alexander Litvinenko, the Russian Federal Security Service and KGB officer whose death in London from polonium poisoning triggered one of the most complex and dangerous investigations in the history of the Metropolitan Police.

Scottish star David Tennant (the series Doctor Who and Broadchurch) will play the lead role. The series has been penned by acclaimed screenwriter George Kay (the series Lupin and Criminal) and follows the determined Scotland Yard officers who worked for ten years to prove who was responsible for the crime. In parallel, the drama covers the story of Marina (Margarita Levieva), Alexander’s fearless, dignified widow who fought tirelessly to persuade the British government to name her husband’s killers publicly and acknowledge the role of the Russian state in his murder.

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Litvinenko was made with the support of many of the key individuals involved in the investigation and the subsequent public enquiry, including former Scotland Yard officers Clive Timmons and Brent Hyatt, along with Ben Emmerson QC and Litvinenko’s family. In the series, Mark Bonnar will play Clive Timmons, whilst Neil Maskell will portray Brent Hyatt.

Commenting on the project, writer Kay said: “In late 2006, Alexander Litvinenko was a living witness to his own murder. He spent his dying days entrusting the Metropolitan Police with the details of what had happened to him. It took those police and his remarkable widow Marina Litvinenko a decade to have those claims ratified. Their stamina, hard work and bravery are what make this not only an essential story of our times, but also a privilege to be asked to write.” ITV Studios executive producer Patrick Spence added: “This one is a privilege, a once-in-a-career opportunity to tell a story about a family and a police team who have shown such courage and resilience that it has inspired us all.”

Commissioned by ITV and NENT Group, the project is being produced by Chris May and co-produced by Richard Kerbaj for Livedrop Media (UK). It is being executive-produced by Patrick Spence for ITV Studios, Josephine Zapata Genetay for NENT Group, Lucy Bedford for Tiger Aspect Productions (UK), George Kay, Jim Field Smith and David Tennant. Litvinenko will be distributed internationally by ITV Studios, whilst in the Nordic/Baltic region, Poland and the Netherlands, the series will premiere exclusively on NENT Group’s Viaplay streaming service.

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