Ben Whishaw, the British actor who played Q in Skyfall and who portray the late Freddie Mercury in a forthcoming biopic, has been last in the lead role of forthcoming BBC thriller London Spy. Whishaw will play Danny in Tom Rob Smith's first television drama.

Ben WhishawBen Whishaw has landed the lead in 'London Spy'

Rob Smith is the author of the acclaimed Stalin-era novel Child 44, which is currently being adapted for the big-screen with Tom Hardy, Joel Kinnaman and Noomi Rapace.

London Spy follows Danny, an outgoing and pleasure-seeking romantic who becomes embroiled in the world of British espionage after falling for the enigmatic Alex. When Alex disappears, Danny must decide whether he is prepared to follow the trail.

Tom Rob Smith said: "Ben Whishaw is quite simply one of the best actors in the country. It's an extraordinary privilege, as a writer, to have him play the lead."

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Janice Hadlow, who commissioned the series, said: "Drama on BBC Two has seen an incredible resurgence and I'm thrilled to be welcoming this gripping new series to the channel, written by an exciting talent."

Filming for the five-part series is set to commence next month, with more casting announcements due in the next couple of weeks.

Whishaw is likely to reprise his role as Q in Bond 24, which begins shooting at Pinewood Studios and various locations in Austria before the end of the year. He will also play German Melville in The Heart of the Sea, a movie about the whale attack that inspired the classic novel Moby Dick. 

More: check out our Ben Whishaw pictures