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Last Updated: Monday January 09 2006 16:48 GMT

Billie to star in Pullman series

Billie Piper
Billie Piper is to play the lead part in a TV adaptation of Philip Pullman's novel The Ruby in the Smoke.

The Doctor Who star will play orphan Sally Lockhart, who investigates her father's death, in the thriller which will be shown on the BBC.

Billie will start filming the first of four Sally Lockhart books in May followed by The Shadow in the North.

Billie has already completed successful TV acting roles as Rose in Doctor Who and Hero in Much Ado About Nothing.

The Ruby in the Smoke is set in Victorian times and follows the life of 16 year old Sally Lockhart.

Sally goes to live with her cruel aunt after her father is killed in a ship wreck in the Far East.

However a mysterious note warning her to look out for "Seven Blessings" sets her on a mission to investigate exactly how her father really died.

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