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Roald Dahl adaptation starring Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman commissioned by new BBC1 controller

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BBC1 has commissioned an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s book, Esio Trot, starring Dustin Hoffman and Judi Dench.

Hoffman will take the part of Mr Happy, who is in love with Ms Silver, played by Dench.

The story has been adapted by Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer and the programme will be made by Endor Productions. It will be directed by Dearbhla Walsh.

The drama was announced today by Charlotte Moore, the new controller of BBC1.

She said: “It’s an honour to have Dame Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman starring in this wonderful new adaptation. It’s absolutely stellar casting for one of the nation’s favourite children’s classics.”

Moore also announced a new six-part drama series from Red Production Company, called Ordinary Lies.

Written by Danny Brocklehurst, she said it was set “in the colourful and competitive world of car sales”.

“Ordinary Lies is full of surprising twists and turns, a roller coaster of a ride for our audience,” she added.

Moore said her aim for BBC1 was to “explore and celebrate the kindness in all”.

“My vision for BBC1 is all about storytelling. Under my leadership, I want to bring warm-hearted storytelling that celebrates the richness and complexities of life in new and surprising ways. I intend to look under the bonnet of every genre to make sure we are bringing audiences distinctive, innovative and pioneering television,” she said.

She added that she wanted to do “more love stories” and dramas with “more women as protagonists”.

She said she was also looking for innovation, in a bid to keep viewers on the edge of their seats, while reaching out to new audiences with an ongoing range of programmes for all tastes.

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