| 8.2°C Dublin

Royle star Ricky takes on zombie drama

ROYLE Family star Ricky Tomlinson is going from uncouth to undead by starring in a new BBC zombie drama.

He will appear alongside veteran actor Kenneth Cranham in a new three-part BBC3 series, In The Flesh, which began filming this week.

It stars newcomer Luke Newberry as Kieren Walker, a teenage zombie who is reabsorbed into society.

In the story -- set in the fictional village of Roarton -- thousands of people are brought back to life after a freak occurrence.

The zombies then spend months in rehabilitation receiving medication before they then return to their families.


Cranham -- whose previous movies include Layer Cake and Hot Fuzz -- plays a manipulative vicar who controls Roarton by whipping up religious fervour.

Tomlinson, known for his years as Bobby Grant in Brookside and coarse Jim Royle in sitcom The Royle Family -- is to play one of the villagers at the centre of the drama.

Director Jonny Campbell -- who was behind acclaimed BBC drama Eric And Ernie -- said: "From the moment I read the opening scene I was hooked.

"What's most exciting about In The Flesh is that it challenges our preconceptions about the standard zombie genre and in so doing almost certainly creates a new one."