Belfast Telegraph

BBC drama to recount Bassey story

Misfits star Ruth Negga will play Dame Shirley Bassey in a television drama based on the singer's life.

Ruth, who has also appeared in Criminal Justice, will star in the BBC Two show called Shirley Bassey: A Very British Diva.

She said: "I'm thrilled to be cast in the role of Shirley Bassey and it's an absolute honour to be playing her in such an intimate story of her life."

The hour-long film traces the life of the Cardiff-born singer who grew up in poverty in the city's docklands.

The daughter of a British mother and Nigerian father, she left school at 15 to work in a factory and was discovered singing in working men's clubs.

Her career almost ended before it began after she became pregnant at 17, but she survived the scandal of being a young unmarried mother to become a massive star, scoring hits including the themes to the James Bond films Goldfinger and Diamonds Are Forever.

Scott And Bailey star Lesley Sharp plays Bassey's mother Eliza, and Henry Lloyd-Hughes, who plays bully Mark Donovan in The Inbetweeners, has been cast as her manager and husband Kenneth Hume.

The programme is part of a season of BBC Two programmes about mixed-race life in the UK.

It is the latest in a string of BBC biopics of entertainment legends.

Carry On stars Hattie Jacques and Frankie Howerd have both been the subject of films and the award-winning Eric And Ernie looked at the early days of comic duo Morecambe and Wise.

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