Michael Palin is returning to TV drama to star in the story of how British soldiers in the trenches of the First World War published their own satirical newspaper.
Private Eye editor Ian Hislop has teamed up with scriptwriter Nick Newman to write The Wipers Times – the name of the paper produced by the troops and named after the battlefield pronunciation of Ypres.
Joining Michael in the cast of the BBC2 show are Ben Chaplin, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Emilia Fox.
BBC2 controller Janice Hadlow said: “Just like the original Wipers Times, this new history drama will be filled with jokes, spoofs and amazing examples of courage behind the laughs. I am delighted to be bringing such a brilliant drama and cast to BBC2.”
The Wipers Times, which combined black humour and satirical swipes at allies and enemies alike, was set up after troops discovered an abandoned printing press on the battlefield and used it to produce the paper.