Due to air as part of BBC Two’s Mixed Race Season later this autumn, Shirley Bassey: A Very British Diva will tell the story of Bassey’s “rise from poverty to international stardom” and is “set against the backdrop of mixed-race Britain from the Thirties to the Sixties”.
The 60-minute film will feature Negga (Criminal Justice) as Shirley Bassey; Sharp (The Shadow Line) as Shirley’s mother; Charlie Creed-Miles (Injustice) as her manager; and Henry Lloyd-Hughes (The Inbetweeners) as her future husband, Kenneth Hume.
Ruth Negga commented: “I’m thrilled to be cast in the role of Shirley Bassey and it’s an absolute honour to be playing her in such an intimate story of her life.”
Executive producer Maxine Watson added: “Dame Shirley Bassey is iconic – she transcends age, race and class. The big voice and vocal style are unmistakable, but it took so much more than that to take her from Tiger Bay to world class headliner. Hers is a classic story of overcoming poverty through personal sacrifice and I’m thrilled that we have such a fantastic cast to bring this story to life.”
A second series of Lesley Sharp’s Scott & Bailey was announced last week. Eight new episodes will begin filming on location in Manchester at the end of October.