Jeremy Irons is to play Henry IV in a new BBC2 adaptation

Jeremy Irons is to play Henry IV in a new BBC2 adaptation that will form part of a Shakespeare season being made in collaboration with Oscar-winning film-maker Sam Mendes.

Irons will feature alongside Tom Hiddleston as Prince Hal and Simon Russell Beale as Falstaff in Henry IV. Hiddleston will then take the lead role in Henry V, which along with Richard II forms part of the BBC cycle of Shakespeare’s history plays to be broadcast in 2012.

Henry IV will be directed by Sir Richard Eyre, the former director of the National Theatre, with Thea Sharrock taking directing duties on Henry V, which goes into production later this year. Henry IV is due to begin filming in January.

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