Hugh Laurie reveals dark side in BBC series The Night Manager
Hugh Laurie said he relished the opportunity to "play a baddie" in the BBC One adaptation of thriller writer John Le Carre's The Night Manager.
The actor, who made his name collaborating with comedy partner Stephen Fry, will take on the role of an e vil arms dealer in the new series.
Laurie said he was a long-time fan of the Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy writer, and could not resist the chance to take on his darkest role yet.
He is perhaps best known for roles as the bumbling Prince George in Blackadder, as well as the title character in American drama series House.
The 56-year-old told the Sunday Telegraph: "I've been preparing since I was a young boy for being bad and I've done a lot of background work and I am profoundly bad.
"Villainy serves a purpose in all good storytelling.
"It's a very well-trodden path, in all kinds of stories, so when I was offered the chance to play [his character] there was no way I could possibly pass it up."
The Night Manager will air on BBC1 later this month.