Piper will share the lead role of Betty with Sue Johnston
Former Doctor Who star Billie Piper is to return to the BBC - to play a young wife and mother who has a romance with a Polish neighbour in 1950s Leeds.
Sue Johnston and Alun Armstrong also appear in A Passionate Woman, based on Kay Mellor's successful stage play.
"There was interest in the film rights but I held onto them," Mellor said. "Now, with the BBC and British money, it's the project I want it to be."
The drama starts filming in Leeds this month and will air on BBC One in 2010.
Mellor is is the creator of such television hits as Band of Gold, Fat Friends and Playing the Field.
The author based the play on her late mother's revelation that she had had an extramarital affair before Mellor was born.
"Three years ago, Mum died," said the writer. "I suppose the film is a way of bringing her back for me."
Set in the 1950s and 1980s, the drama will see Piper and Johnston play the lead role of Betty at different stages in her life.
Frances Barber and Armstrong's son Joe will also appear in the programme, to be co-directed by Mellor and Antonia Bird.
Former pop star Piper is best known for her role as the Doctor's assistant Rose Tyler in the BBC's popular science-fiction series.
Previously married to Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans, she had a son with second husband Laurence Fox in October last year.