Former Spooks star Keeley Hawes is set to feature in the BBC drama Ashes to Ashes, the sequel to the hit show Life on Mars.

Hawes found fame as Zoe Reynolds in Spooks before departing from the MI5 drama in 2004.

She will play psychological profiler DI Alex Drake in the new show after becoming stuck in 1981 with the Life on Mars character DCI Gene Hunt, played by Philip Glenister.

The actress said: "I'm thrilled to be playing Alex. She's a fantastic character and will be a force to be reckoned with as far as Gene Hunt is concerned; the two of them locking horns in the Eighties will certainly be a sight to behold, never mind the shoulder pads."

In a similar fashion to Life on Mars, Hawes' character will have been a rising star in the Metropolitan police circa 2008 only to find herself jetted back to the 80s - with a soundtrack of Roxy Music and the Human League.

Jane Featherstone, the executive producer for Kudos, who will be working on the show, said: "Keeley will be fantastic as Alex 'posh knickers' Drake.

"She is sexy, ballsy and very intelligent, exactly like Alex – she's bound to turn Gene's egocentric life upside down."

Ashes to Ashes will be broadcast on BBC1 in 2008 and is written and created by Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah, the pair behind the highly successful Life on Mars.

03/07/2007 11:24:37