Channel 4 season to feature apartheid thriller Endgame

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Paula Milne, writer of BBC1's The Virgin Queen, has penned a major new drama for Channel 4 about the end of apartheid, called Endgame.

The show is described by Channel 4 as a "feature length thriller" and was unveiled today as part of the broadcaster's spring and summer line-up.

Set in South Africa, it will star William Hurt, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Mark Strong. Sourced from journalist Robert Harvey's book The Fall of Apartheid, it was inspired by secret talks that took place to discuss ways of ending the segregatoin at a time when civil war in South Africa seemed inevitable.

The drama is being directed by Pete Travis, who most recently directed the film Vantage Point, and is produced by Daybreak Pictures, the company behind Channel 4's Britz.

Today, the broadcaster also announced casting for its new drama serial The Devil's Whore, written by Our Friends in the North creator Peter Flannery.

Set during the outbreak of civil war in England in 1642, the drama stars John Simm as Edward Sexby and Dominic West as Oliver Cromwell, and also features Michael Fassbender and Peter Capaldi. The drama is being made by Shameless producer Company Pictures.

Later this year, Channel 4 will show The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall, about the aftermath of the shooting of the British peace activist in 2003, and Fallout, a one-off drama adapted by playwright Roy Williams from his stage play of the same name.

The drama will form part of a season looking at gun and knife crime in the UK.

Speaking at the launch today, head of Channel 4 Julian Bellamy said: "We are determined to make programmes that have real purpose and affect real change in society. Our next major season is on gun and knife crime. We want this season to be a magnet for a whole range of interesting and radical views on how to deal with this hugely important social problem."

Elsewhere, Channel 4 is to dedicate August to new talent, both on and off the screen, with a different newcomer given the chance to make their TV debut every day.

The New Talent Month will include a weekday topical comedy programme, with the working title The Nightly Show, which promises to feature a "new generation of comics".

Comedies on Channel 4 this spring and summer include sketch show The Kevin Bishop Show and Plus One, written by Tim Allsop and Stewart Williams.

Also in the spring and summer schedules announced by Channel 4 is a new six-part sitcom for E4 called The Inbetweeners.

The show is the first original UK sitcom commission for E4 and focuses on four teenagers growing up in suburbia.

Meanwhile, in entertainment, The Charlotte Church Show returns for an eight-part run this summer.