Eddie Izzard is to make a rare television drama appearance as Long John Silver in a new Sky adaptation of Treasure Island.

Eddie will play the infamous one-legged pirate in Sky1’s new version of the 18th century tale by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Treasure Island will be shot in several exotic locations including Puerto Rico and Ireland with filming beginning next month.

The two-part, four-hour family drama will be shown during the Christmas period in 2012.

It will be the first live-action adaptation of the novel for British TV since the BBC’s version in the 1970s, starring Alfred Burke as Long John Silver.

According to the MediaGuardian Sophie Turner Laing, Sky’s managing director of entertainment and news, said: “We have Treasure Island in production which stars Eddie Izzard, which is really exciting. He doesn’t do that much television so we are very excited that he is to play Long John Silver.”