Radio plays to follow Smiley adventures

Feb. 22, 2009 at 2:12 PM

LONDON, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Stage actor Simon Russell Beale says he is excited to play the fictional spy George Smiley in a series of radio plays set to debut in Britain.

Beale said he admires author John le Carre for his eight novels featuring the cold war intelligence officer that will now be featured as BBC radio plays, The Sunday Times of London reported.

The broadcasts will begin in May, providing 20 hours of air time telling Smiley's thrilling adventures.

Le Carre's Smiley character also was featured in two BBC TV series in which the late actor Alec Guinness donned the mantle of the British spy.

Guinness played the secret agent in 1979's "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" and 1982's "Smiley's People."

The Times said there are currently two film productions planned for additional adaptations of Smiley novels.

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