Eddie Izzard to play Long John Silver

Image caption,
Izzard has combined stand-up comedy with dramatic acting on stage and screen

Comedian and actor Eddie Izzard is to play Long John Silver in a two-part TV adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, Sky One has announced.

According to Sky, the drama - scheduled for Christmas 2012 - will take "a bold approach to the much-loved classic".

Since branching out as an actor, stand-up comic Izzard has had starring roles in The Riches, The Day of the Triffids and the Tom Cruise film Valkyrie.

Last year, he ran 43 marathons in 51 days for the Sport Relief charity.

Elaine Pyke, Sky One's head of drama, said Treasure Island would be "a hugely exciting, morally complex and compelling story of pirates, heroes, friendship and treachery".

Filming is scheduled to begin next month and will take place in Ireland and Puerto Rico.

There have been more than 50 film and TV adaptations of Treasure Island.

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