Page last updated at 14:05 GMT, Friday, 27 November 2009

Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston to play Lennon

Christopher Eccleston
Eccleston stepped down from the Doctor Who role after one series

Former Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston is to play John Lennon in a BBC drama marking 30 years since the singer's murder in 1980.

Lennon Naked will tackle the death of Beatles manager Brian Epstein, Lennon's developing relationship with Yoko Ono and his departure from the fab four.

The 90-minute drama ends in 1971 - the year Lennon released his album Imagine and he and Ono moved to New York.

Eccleston first came to attention in Danny Boyle's 1994 film Shallow Grave.

"Securing Christopher Eccleston to play John Lennon is further testament to the calibre of drama on BBC Four," said Ben Stephenson, controller of BBC drama commissioning.

Household name

After Shallow Grave, Eccleston became a household name in TV series such as Cracker and Our Friends in the North in the mid-1990s.

The 45-year-old made his debut as Doctor Who in the revival of the popular BBC show in 2005, but stepped down after just one series, and later appeared in NBC sci-fi show Heroes.

Earlier this year, Eccleston appeared on the London stage in The Doll's House opposite former X Files star Gillian Anderson.

Recent film work includes big budget Hollywood projects GI Joe: The Rise of the Cobra and Amelia.

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