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The Ipcress File: ITV’s new spy thriller promises a “twist-laden” adventure around the world

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Lauren Geall
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Joe Cole

ITV has announced it is adapting Len Deighton’s spy novel The Ipcress File into a six-part TV series. Here’s everything else we know about this exciting new project so far.

Just when we thought we had enough incredible British crime dramas to last a lifetime, yet another intriguing project is making its way to our screens.

According to Deadline, ITV is adapting Len Deighton’s spy novel The Ipcress File into a six-part drama series. The book, which also inspired a 1965 Michael Caine film of the same name, follows the story of Harry Palmer – a criminal who is given the chance to become a spy instead of face prison time.

Described as a “twist-laden spy thriller with a rich cast of characters,” The Ipcress File follows Palmer as he takes part in his first mission in his new role. 

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Set in Berlin and London in 1963 (aka, the middle of the Cold War), Palmer’s mission – called, you guessed it, The Ipcress File – sees Palmer’s links to a man suspected of kidnapping a missing British nuclear scientist take him all over the world.

As if that plot summary didn’t sound exciting enough, the series has also already accrued a pretty stellar line-up. Leading the series will be none other than Peaky Blinders and Gangs of London star Joe Cole, who will take on the role of Palmer alongside fellow cast members Tom Hollander (The Night Manager and Us) and Lucy Boynton (Bohemian Rhapsody and The Politician)

Lucy Boynton
The Ipcress File: Bohemian Rhapsody actor Lucy Boynton will also star.

The line-up behind the camera is also seriously exciting. For one, the series is being adapted by BAFTA-winning Trainspotting writer John Hodge.

And that’s not forgetting the fact that The Crown producer Andrew Eaton will be executive producing alongside Black Mirror director James Watkins.

Although we don’t know much more about the series for now – including when it’s set to hit our screens – we do know that filming is set to start sometime in 2021 and will be split between London and Croatia. 

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For now, then, we’ll just have to wait and see what treasures The Ipcress File might have in store for us.

We’ll be adding more information to this page as and when we get it, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the latest updates. 

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Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.

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