NELSON-born actor John Simm is to star in a new TV drama made by Shameless creator Paul Abbott, who is originally from Burnley.

The three-part psychological thriller, Exile, will see Simm playing a London journalist returning to his Lancashire hometown after 18 years.

He is there to quiz his father, who has Alzheimer’s, about a mystery crime 20 years earlier.

The role of his father will be played by Bafta award winner Jim Broadbent.

Filming began in Manchester on Monday for the three-part drama which will be broadcast next year on BBC1.

It has been written by Danny Brocklehurst who has also worked on The Street, Sorted, Shameless and Clocking Off.

Simm, 40, who previously worked with Abbott in the hit BBC drama State of Play, said: “Danny’s written a great script, it’s a wonderful cast, and I can’t wait to start work.”

Abbott said: “Creating the series came from looking at the effect events have on families, and how that changes lives forever.

“Working with John Simm again is always a pleasure, he does seem to have turned into a muse of mine, and I’m delighted that we have the calibre of Jim Broadbent alongside him.

“And of course it’s great having writer Danny Brocklehurst on board.

“We haven’t worked together since he joined us on the Shameless team.”

Ben Stephenson, controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, said: “This intimate portrayal of a father and son’s relationship played by John Simm and Jim Broadbent has been beautifully written by Danny Brocklehurst.

“It is a moving and shocking script that will be a real treat for BBC1 viewers.”