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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 July, 2004, 17:00 GMT 18:00 UK
ITV set to bring back TV's Morse
John Thaw
The late John Thaw played the popular Inspector Morse
ITV is bringing back its classic dramas Rumpole of the Bailey, Sharpe and Inspector Morse.

Inspector Morse will return to screens two-and-a-half years after the death of actor John Thaw, who played the eponymous police inspector.

ITV are in discussions with actor Kevin Whately, who played Morse's sidekick Sergeant Lewis, to star in the show.

Rumpole of the Bailey will star Albert Finney, while the network is talking to Sean Bean about returning to Sharpe.

A remake of Morse had the "blessing of author Colin Dexter, Sheila Hancock [Thaw's widow] - and Kevin Whately is very interested," a spokeswoman said.

The Morse character was killed off in the last episode of the drama, The Remorseful Day, which was broadcast in November 2000.

Popular repeats

Rumpole of the Bailey originally starred actor Leo McKern playing the grumpy barrister, created by Sir John Mortimer.

Sharpe, the Napoleonic war hero whose TV exploits were based on the books of author Bernard Cornwell, starred Bean, who later won global fame as Boromir in the first Lord of the Rings film The Fellowship of the Ring.

All three series are regarded as some of the most popular dramas in ITV's history, with repeats of Inspector Morse still attracting high viewing figures.

Both the new Morse and Rumpole series will be scripted by Russell Lewis. All of the original Morse stories by author Colin Dexter have already been adapted for television.

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