Christopher Eccleston to play John Lennon in BBC4 drama

Lennon Naked, a 90-minute one-off film, looks at Beatle's life from 1967 to 1971, with Christopher Eccleston in starring role

The former Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston is to play John Lennon in a new BBC4 drama.

Called Lennon Naked, the one-off 90-minute film covers Lennon's life from 1967 to 1971.

It features the effect on Lennon of the death of the Beatles' manager, Brian Epstein, and the impact of re-establishing contact with his long lost father Freddie.

Lennon Naked also covers the break-up of his marriage to Cynthia Lennon and meeting Yoko Ono.

Ono is played by Naoko Mori, of Torchwood and Absolutely Fabulous, and Epstein by Rory Kinnear.

Other cast members includethe Cranford actor Claudie Blakley as Cynthia Lennon and Andrew Scott as Paul McCartney.

The BBC's controller of drama commissioning, Ben Stephenson, said: "Securing Christopher Eccleston to play John Lennon is further testament to the calibre of drama on BBC4. The 'Women We Loved' season currently on air is attracting record audiences and the channel is steadily building a reputation for portraying some of this country's best-loved icons." 

Richard Klein, controller of BBC4, said : "BBC4 is the place where dramas look to explore that space between artists' public works and private lives, shedding light on the artistic process while offering intelligent entertainment."  

Lennon Naked was written by Robert Jones, the co-creator of Party Aninals. It is currently being filmed in London by the independent producer Blast! Films and will air next year.

The director and co-producer is Edmund Coulthard, whose credits include Soundproof; Katherine Lannon, who worked on BBC4's The Secret Life of Mrs Beeton, is co-producer.

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Tara Conlan

The GuardianTramp

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