Zombie drama role for Tomlinson
Royle Family star Ricky Tomlinson is going from uncouth to undead by starring in a new BBC zombie drama.
He will appear alongside veteran actor Kenneth Cranham in a new three-part BBC3 series, In The Flesh, which began filming this week.
It stars newcomer Luke Newberry as Kieren Walker, a teenage zombie who is reabsorbed into society.
In the story - set in the fictional village of Roarton - thousands of people are brought back to life after a freak occurrence.
The zombies then spend months in rehabilitation and receiving medication before returning to their families.
Kenneth - whose movies include Layer Cake and Hot Fuzz - plays a manipulative vicar who controls Roarton by whipping up religious fervour.
Ricky, known for his years as Bobby Grant in Brookside and coarse Jim Royle in sitcom The Royle Family - is to play one of the villagers at the centre of the drama.
Director Jonny Campbell - who was behind acclaimed BBC drama Eric And Ernie - said: "From the moment I read the opening scene I was hooked. What's most exciting about In The Flesh is that it challenges our preconceptions about the standard zombie genre and in so doing almost certainly creates a new one."