Peter Capaldi to appear in BBC Nativity

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Peter Capaldi in The Thick Of It
Image caption,
Capaldi will play Balthazar, one of the three wise men

The Thick Of It star Peter Capaldi will appear in a BBC One retelling of the nativity story this Christmas.

Capaldi will appear as Balthazar, one of the three wise men, alongside True Lies star Art Malik and Cranford's Andrew Buchan.

Newcomer Tatiana Maslany will play Mary to Buchan's Joseph.

Nativity, which will be broadcast in four half-hour episodes over four nights, is being scripted by Life On Mars writer Tony Jordan.

Filming will begin on location in Morocco next month.

The production will focus on the love story between Mary and Joseph and their "emotional turmoil" over her pregnancy.

Ben Stephenson, controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, hailed Jordan as "a master storyteller".

"We hope our version of the Nativity will give audiences all the wonder, magic and inspiration of the original whilst also telling a less familiar tale," he added.