Entertainment & Arts

Misfits star Ruth Negga cast in Shirley Bassey drama

Ruth Negga
Image caption Ruth Negga said it was 'an absolute honour' to be cast in the role

Misfits actress Ruth Negga has been cast in a BBC Two drama about singer Dame Shirley Bassey.

Shirley Bassey: A Very British Diva will trace the Cardiff-born star's rise from poverty to international stardom.

The Irish actress said it was "an absolute honour" to be cast in the role.

The cast also features Lesley Sharp, as Bassey's mother. The one-hour drama is due to be broadcast in the autumn.

Set against the backdrop of mixed-race Britain from the 1930s to the 1960s, the drama tells the story of the singer who was born to a British mother and Nigerian father.

After leaving school at 15 to work in a factory, Bassey was discovered singing in working men's clubs.

She went on to have huge hits including the themes to James Bond films Goldfinger and Diamonds Are Forever.

'Personal sacrifice'

"I'm thrilled to be cast in the role of Shirley Bassey and it's an absolute honour to be playing her in such an intimate story of her life," said Negga.

Co-starring in the drama is The Inbetweeners actor Henry Lloyd-Hughes, who plays Bassey's manager and husband Kenneth Hume.

Executive producer Maxine Watson said: "Dame Shirley Bassey is iconic - she transcends age, race and class.

"Hers is a classic story of overcoming poverty through personal sacrifice and I'm thrilled that we have such a fantastic cast to bring this story to life."

The drama is being shown as part of BBC Two's Mixed Race season.

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