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ITV announce new spy thriller, The Ipcress File, from Trainspotting screenwriter John Hodge

Directed by Emmy winner James Watkins, the six-part series will star Joe Cole, Lucy Boynton and Tom Hollander.

John Hodge has adapted the series from Len Deighton's novel of the same name, The Ipcress File, and will see Joe Cole take on the iconic role of Harry Palmer.

The Ipcress File was Len Deighton’s first spy novel introducing the iconic British spy Harry Palmer and set against the backdrop of Cold War Europe. To date the novel has sold 10 million copies worldwide since it was first published in 1962.

Described by ITV as an enthralling and atmospheric espionage thriller, the series is set in Berlin and London during the 1960’s.

It’s 1963. Cold war rages between West and East. Nuclear bombers are permanently airborne. In this highly charged atmosphere, we join Harry Palmer – a British army sergeant on the make in Berlin.

In this newly partitioned city, a sharp working-class young man with sophisticated tastes can make a lot of money. Wholesaler, retailer, fixer, smuggler, Harry’s varied interests bring him into contact with everything and everyone – until the law catches up and it all comes crashing to a halt.

Harry finds himself sentenced to eight years in a grim military jail in England, all his prospects abruptly torn away.

But his impressive network and efficiency have not gone unnoticed, and a gentleman from British intelligence has a proposal. To avoid prison, Harry Palmer will become a spy. And the case on which he cuts his teeth will be The Ipcress File.

Harry’s links to the man suspected of kidnapping a missing British nuclear scientist result in him being conscripted for a dangerous undercover mission that takes him from the Beatles’ London to the Berlin Wall, from the back alleys of Beirut to the white hot sand of a Nuclear Atoll in the Pacific.

A twist-laden spy thriller with a rich cast of characters, The Ipcress File is a stylish and tense tale of abducted scientists, brainwashing, inter- departmental rivalry, treason, and a possibly unwise romance.

The Ipcress File will be filmed on location in Liverpool and Croatia during 2021 and speaking about the new drama, ITV's Head of Drama Polly Hill said "I'm thrilled to be bringing John Hodge’s brilliant adaptation of such an iconic novel to ITV."

Adding "Harry Palmer is an incredible part and this would have been impossible without the right actor, so we are all delighted that Joe Cole will take on the role. The talent on and off screen means this will be a treat for audiences when it comes to ITV."

The Ipcress File will air on ITV


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