David Tennant to play Alexander Litvinenko in new ITV drama

ODEON LUXE LEICESTER SQUARE, LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/05/28: David Tennant seen during the TV premiere of Amazon Original 'Good Omens' at the Odeon Luxe Leicester Square in London. (Photo by James Warren/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
David Tennant will play Alexander Litvinenko. (SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) (SOPA Images via Getty Images)

David Tennant is set to play Alexander Litvinenko in a new ITV drama.

The actor is taking on the role of the former Russian Federal Security Services and KGB officer – whose death from polonium poisoning in 2006 triggered a complex police investigation – in a four-part series called Litvinenko.

It comes fresh on the heels of his acclaimed portrayal of serial killer Dennis Nilsen in ITV drama Des.

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Litvinenko – from ITV and Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group) - tells the story of the Scotland Yard officers who worked for 10 years to prove who was responsible for the death.

LONDON - NOVEMBER 20: In this image made available on November 25, 2006, Alexander Litvinenko is pictured at the Intensive Care Unit of University College Hospital on November 20, 2006 in London, England. The 43-year-old former KGB spy who died on Thursday 23rd November, accused Russian President Vladimir Putin in the involvement of his death. Mr Litvinenko died following the presence of the radioactive polonium-210 in his body. Russia's foreign intelligence service has denied any involvement in the case. (Photo by Natasja Weitsz/Getty Images)
Alexander Litvinenko died in 2006. (Getty Images) (Natasja Weitsz via Getty Images)

It will also follow Litvinenko’s widow Marina, played by Margarita Levieva, who fought to persuade the British government to publicly name her husband’s killers.

Screenwriter George Kay said: “In late 2006, Alexander Litvinenko was a living witness to his own murder. He spent his dying days entrusting the Metropolitan Police with the details of what happened to him. It took those police and his remarkable widow Marina Litvinenko a decade to have those claims ratified.

"Their stamina, hard work and bravery are what make this not only an essential story of our times but a privilege to be asked to write.”

The series has the backing of many people involved in the investigation, including former Scotland Yard officers Clive Timmons (Mark Bonnar) and Brent Hyatt (Neil Maskell) and Litvinenko’s family.

David Tennant in the press room after winning the Drama Performance award for his portrayal of Dennis Nielsen in Des at the National Television Awards 2021 held at the O2 Arena, London. Picture date: Thursday September 9, 2021.
David Tennant wowed viewers with his portrayal of Dennis Nielsen.(PA) (PA)

Polly Hill, ITV Head of Drama, said: “After David’s incredible performance as Dennis Nilsen I’m delighted he returns to ITV to play Alexander Litvinenko in the incredible story of his murder.

“George Kay’s scripts are brilliant and this is an important story that documents a long police investigation and a powerful campaign for justice by his wife Marina.”

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Ms Hill said it was going to make a “compelling drama”, adding: “I am proud to have it on ITV.”

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