AN actor who stars in the The Hobbit films, Aidan Turner, has been named as the lead in a new version of the classic Cornish drama Poldark.
The 30-year-old from Ireland also played the lead vampire role in the TV series Being Human.
He will now play Ross Poldark, the hero from the novel by Winston Graham, who returns to Cornwall after the wars against American in the late 18th century.
Following his long absence, he find his sweetheart, Elizabeth, has married his cousin, his lands are in ruin and his tin mines derelict.
The TV adaptation, which ran from 1975 and 1977, was hugely popular and named one of the best drama ever made.
Last year, the BBC commissioned a new version of the drama.
It will be shot on location in Cornwall this year and at studios in Bristol.
Aidan Turner is the first major star to be signed up for the series.
The new version has been adapted by Debbie Horsfieldas an 8-part series directed by Ed Bazalgette (The Guilty, Endeavour) and produced by Eliza Mellor (Death Comes to Pemberley).
Aidan Turner said: “I’m very excited to play Ross Poldark for the BBC and it’s obviously a huge challenge to honour the extraordinary character Winston Graham created and who Debbie Horsfield has brought new life to.
“But there’s a terrific team coming together and the scripts are superb, so I can’t wait to get started.”
Damien Timmer, executive producer for production company Mammoth Screen added: “Ross Poldark is an iconic role – we needed an actor with the right combination of striking looks, youthful rebelliousness, emotional complexity and maturity of presence which hints at the man he becomes across the saga.
“In our minds there was only one candidate. Happily he said yes.”
Andrew Graham, author Winston Graham’s son said: “I am delighted at the choice of Aidan Turner as Ross, as I am sure my father would have been.
“Ross in the novels was a man of dark good looks, impulsive temperament, strong loyalties and deep emotions.
“I am greatly looking forward to seeing Aidan bring all these qualities freshly to life.”
Filming begins in Cornwall and Bristol in April and the series will transmit in 2015. Executive producers are Debbie Horsfield, Rebecca Keane, Karen Thrussell and Damien Timmer for Mammoth Screen and Polly Hill, head of independent drama, for the BBC.