David Walliams is to take on his "dream role" of playing Frankie Howerd in a drama about the comedian and actor's life.

The Little Britain star will appear in BBC4's Rather You Than Me, a programme about Howerd's private battle with stage-fright, depression and inner conflict about his homosexuality.

The drama is one of four the channel is showing about the real lives of five entertainers in the 1960s.

Trevor Eve will appear as the TV host Hughie Green, while Jason Isaacs and Phil Davis portray Harry H Corbett and Wilfrid Brambell, the stars of hit sitcom Steptoe And Son, in The Curse of Steptoe.

And Ken Stott and Maxine Peake take the lead roles in Hancock And Joan, a drama about Tony Hancock's love affair with his best friend's wife and his battle with drink.

BBC4 controller Janice Hadlow, who recently returned to the channel following a sabbatical last year, commented: "As BBC4 prepares to celebrate its sixth birthday next month I'm delighted to have returned with it in such great shape and with an exciting line-up of bold and original programmes to look forward to.

"I'm particularly pleased that we've attracted such a strong line-up of big name talent to this season of dramas."

22/02/2008 14:06:09