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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 April 2006, 10:50 GMT 11:50 UK
BBC considers Crucifixion drama
Keith Allen, Darren Morfitt and Tim Booth in Manchester Passion
Manchester Passion retold the Crucifixion story in a modern setting
The BBC is considering a retelling of the Crucifixion story, to be told over six nights in the run-up to Easter.

BBC One controller Peter Fincham said the ambitious dramatisation could be a "major television event" in the vein of 1977 mini-series Jesus of Nazareth.

Speaking at the Voice of the Listener and Viewer spring conference in London, he said the event, if it goes ahead, would happen in 2008 at the earliest.

"It's not EastEnders but I believe a big audience could come to it."

On Good Friday this year, BBC Three staged Manchester Passion, a contemporary retelling of the last hours of Jesus' life using the music of the city.

'In development'

The new version, which has yet to be cast or written, would begin with Christ's entry into Jerusalem.

"I don't yet know whether the Passion will happen," Mr Fincham said on Wednesday.

"But it's an example of something that I believe that the BBC, and in particular BBC One, should do."

A BBC spokeswoman added: "It's an idea that's in development but has yet to be commissioned.

"It would look to build on the success of Manchester Passion, which brought a whole new audience to the story."

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