TV HARDMAN Sean Bean is to show off his more feminine side - playing a transsexual in a courtroom drama.
Bean, who made his name in the Napoleonic war drama Sharpe, dons a mini-skirt and a blonde wig for the role in the new series of BBC1's Accused.
Ben Stephenson, Controller of Drama Commissioning at the BBC, said Bean would feature in the third episode of the four-part show.
He told members of the Broadcasting Press Guild: "He's playing a transsexual, a brilliant story, untold I think on mainstream television".
Other names lined up for the new series include Anna Maxwell Martin, Stephen Graham and Liverpudlian comic John Bishop.
The first series of the legal drama, written by Cracker creator Jimmy McGovern, starred Peter Capaldi, Christopher Eccleston and Mackenzie Crook.
Bean plays an English teacher called Simon and his alter ego, Tracie, whose quest for love leads to the courtroom.
He will appear alongside Graham and Rachel Leskovac, who played hairdresser Natasha Blakeman in Coronation Street.
Bean said: "I've wanted to work on a Jimmy McGovern drama for a while and I think this cracking script really delivers a powerful, emotional drama for the audience."