Entertainment & Arts

Russ Abbot to play Tommy Cooper in BBC drama

Russ Abbot
Image caption Russ Abbot has also appeared on stage in Oliver! and The producers

Comic and Last of the Summer Wine actor Russ Abbot is to play Tommy Cooper in a new BBC Radio 3 drama, it has been confirmed.

Glass Chair Chair Glass imagines what would have happened if the comedian and magician had met absurdist playwright Eugene Ionesco.

Dame Harriet Walter will also star in the drama, while Vera Drake actor Allan Corduner will play Ionesco.

The 90-minute play will be broadcast on 18 September at 20:30BST.

The story has been written by Annie Caulfield, whose credits include the radio drama The Von Trapps and Me, which told the story of The Sound of Music from the point of view of the baroness.

Caulfield told The Stage there was a "showbusiness rumour" that Cooper and Ionesco had once met, and that her drama imagines this took place in 1975 in Paris.

Abbot starred in BBC One comedy Last of the Summer Wine from 2008 until it ended last year.

He has also recently appeared on stage in Oliver! and The Producers.

The star is best remembered for his self-titled comedy series which ran during the 1980s and 90s.

Abbot also scored a number of chart hits, including Atmosphere, which made the UK top 10 in 1984.

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