Paul Nicholls is to star in BBC drama The C Word.

The former EastEnders star will join Sheridan Smith in the small-screen adaptation of Lisa Lynch’s book about her experience of cancer.

While the Bafta-winning actress will portray the writer, Paul will play her husband Pete, whom Lisa married shortly before being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 28.

Peak Practice actress Haydn Gwynne and The White Queen’s Michael Maloney will play Lisa’s parents, with Nate Fallows playing her brother, Jamie. Rebekah Staton and Susannah Field have been cast as Lisa’s friends, Gabby and Abigail respectively.

Adapted by Nicole Taylor (Secret Diary Of A Call Girl), The C Word is described as a ‘defiant, ballsy account which captures the no-nonsense and witty style of Lisa’s writing and personality’.

Before Lisa died in 2013, aged 33, she gave the TV adaptation her full support and worked closely with Nicole and BBC Drama Production on the script. She also hand-picked Sheridan to play her on screen.

The 90-minute drama, which will be directed by Tim Kirkby, will start shooting in the coming weeks in London.

Since leaving BBC soap EastEnders, in which he played troubled Joe Wicks, Paul has become known for portraying DS Sam Casey in ITV’s Law And Order: UK. The 35-year-old has also appeared in Holby City and Secret Diary Of A Call Girl.