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'Green Wing' star unsure of 'Oliver' role

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'Green Wing' star unsure of 'Oliver' role

BBC

Green Wing star Julian Rhind-Tutt has admitted that he was initially unsure about starring in the new BBC adaptation of Oliver Twist.

The Dickens story has been told on stage and screen more than 50 times in the past and the actor was uncertain what a new version could offer.

He said: "I wasn't turned off by it, but I was slightly sceptical. You never know if anything is going to be any good, but that's particularly true of period dramas because there has been a real glut of them recently, of varying qualities. I am old, jaded, cynical and bitter, so I was thinking, 'is this going to be any good?'"

However, he explained that he was impressed by ex-EastEnders writer Sarah Phelps' script, which splits the story into five parts, saying: "I think she's managed to extract the tightest, sharpest, fast-moving screen adaptation. What you get is an original sense of the melodrama. You get the story in episodes, like a soap, with cliff-hangers and a very taught script. I have been in some terribly-written programmes, but I was genuinely amazed by this script."

Rhind-Tutt plays Mr Brownlow's grandson Mr Monks, who wants Oliver out of the way because his inheritance will be threatened by the boy's presence.

The 39-year-old said he was delighted to play a nasty character, saying: "It was brilliant. I've not really done that before, so I practised my evil looks in the mirror!"

The programme - which aired for the first time last night - also stars Edward Fox, Anna Massey, Timothy Spall, Tom Hardy and Sophie Okonedo.

Oliver Twist continues at 8pm tonight on BBC One.

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