Page last updated at 11:27 GMT, Saturday, 14 June 2008 12:27 UK

Stars Neeson and Nesbitt team up

Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson will play the role of UVF member Alistair Little

Two of Northern Ireland's top actors have begun work on a new BBC drama.

James Nesbitt and Liam Neeson have started filming Five Minutes Of Heaven, a one-off film that explores aspects of Northern Ireland's troubled past.

This will be the first time Oscar nominated Neeson and TV star Nesbitt have appeared together on screen.

Written by Guy Hibbert, who also wrote Omagh, Five Minutes Of Heaven is a fictional work of drama based on real events.

The drama tells the story of 17-year-old UVF member Alistair Little who murdered a 19-year-old Catholic, Jim Griffin, in Lurgan.

James Nesbitt
James Nesbitt will play Joe Griffin

Jim's murder was witnessed by his 11-year-old brother, Joe Griffin, and the impact of Jim's death destroyed his family, who could not come to terms with the loss.

Joe Griffin is played by James Nesbitt (Murphy's Law and Bloody Sunday). The role of Alistair, 30 years on, is played by Liam Neeson (Star Wars, Michael Collins).

Patrick Spence, Head of Drama for BBC Northern Ireland, says: "Northern Ireland is a society emerging from conflict.

"We wanted to develop and produce a single film, which, in a responsible way, marks part of that transition."

Filming began at the end of May in Belfast, and it is due to be screened next year on BBC 2.

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