Brand to appear in ITV’s Cold Blood series

Liz Thomas

Exclusive: ITV has commissioned a full series of Matthew Kelly serial killer drama Cold Blood and has signed up Russell Brand to take on a straight acting role in the show.

Cold Blood was initially a pilot starring Kelly as a sinister serial killer, who had murdered eight women and a child, with John Hannah as his ex-cellmate and Jemma Redgrave as an ambitious detective. It broadcast in 2005 and attracted strong viewing figures, prompting the network to commission a follow-up singe drama, which will air next month.

The broadcaster has now decided that the show should be developed into a full series and has lined up a host of guest stars, including Bill Ward, who has just left Coronation Street after more than three years as manipulative love rat Charlie Stubbs, Pauline Quirke, Phil Davis and Brand.

An ITV Productions insider told The Stage : “The second one-off drama is going out soon and everyone is really behind the project. On the basis of that, it is going to full series and we have some great stars appearing in it. Russell might raise a few eyebrows but that’s just because people might have forgotten that he is an actor as well, because of all the other things he has been doing.”

Brand, who hosted this year’s Brit Awards, recently starred in new ITV1 pilot comedy The Abbey, which was set in a rehab clinic. The star has also spoken of his ambition to make it as an actor in Hollywood.

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