Entertainment & Arts

James Norton to star in BBC crime drama McMafia

James Norton Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The BBC's Charlotte Moore said James Norton is 'at the top of his game'

James Norton is to star in a TV drama about the Russian mafia in London.

The Grantchester and Happy Valley actor has been cast in the lead role of BBC One's McMafia, based on Misha Glenny's bestseller about organised crime.

Norton will play Alex Goodman, the son of a former Russian "Godfather", who is trying to follow a straighter path than his parents.

McMafia is Norton's second big Russian drama following his role as Prince Andrei Bolkonsky in War and Peace.

Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content, said: "James Norton is at the top of his game and I know he will do justice to the riveting McMafia."

Image caption James Norton established himself as a heart-throb in the BBC serialisation of War and Peace

Misha Glenny is a journalist and his book - also called McMafia - is a hard-hitting non-fiction look at global crime and its far-reaching influence.

In the eight-part BBC drama, Norton's character Alex is the English-raised son of Russian exiles with a criminal past.

A BBC statement said: "This fast-paced thriller is epic and intimate, glamorous and gritty, global in scale and forensic in detail.

"It delves into how, with the rise of globalisation, the corporate has become criminal and the criminal corporate and how, driven by the global demand for cheap products, everyone is complicit in some way."

The rest of the cast and the broadcast date for the series are yet to be announced.

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