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Last Updated: Friday, 20 April 2007, 09:35 GMT 10:35 UK
Glenister joins all-star BBC cast
Philip Glenister
Philip Glenister played DCI Gene Hunt in Life on Mars
Life on Mars actor Philip Glenister has signed up to appear in a five-part BBC One period drama based on novels by Elizabeth Gaskell.

The actor will play Mr Carter in the Cranford Chronicles - a 19th Century drama which explores life in a fictional rural town in Cheshire.

Glenister joins an-all-star cast which also includes Dame Judi Dench, Imelda Staunton and Barbara Flynn.

The series, written by Heidi Thomas, will be broadcast later this year.

'Witty and poignant'

Cranford Chronicles is based on three Gaskell books - Cranford, Mr Harrison's Confessions and My Lady Ludlow.

According to the BBC, the "witty and poignant story follows the small absurdities and major tragedies in the lives of the people of Cranford during one extraordinary year".

Dame Judi's character is described as a woman "whose hopes and lively spirit were crushed when she was forced as a young woman to give up the man she loved".

Kate Harwood, BBC head of drama series and serials, said: "We are privileged to have assembled a great cast to give life to these wonderful characters.

"Now we can look forward to seeing these richly moving stories unfold."

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