Imelda Staunton joins BBC’s Psychoville

Star of stage and screen Imelda Staunton is to join the cast of the forthcoming Halloween Special and the second series of the award-winning comedy-thriller Psychoville, written by and starring Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton.

For Imelda this marks a return to TV comedy, after her recent roles in the Harry Potter series, the Oscar-nominated Vera Drake and the roving gossip Miss Pole in BBC One’s Cranford. Imelda will star as a sharp-suited, shadowy figure with mysterious motives.

Imelda says: “There’s nothing I enjoy more than hanging out with weirdoes, freaks and undesirables, so of course I jumped at the chance to work on Psychoville with Steve and Reece.”

And once again writers Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton take centre stage playing a range of loveable grotesques in a world that only they could imagine.

Reece and Steve say: “Imelda completely ‘got’ the show and we felt really lucky to ‘get’ her. She was fantastically funny as a slightly frustrated megalomaniac.”

Commenting on her character they added: “She looks like a cross between Mary Quant and Louise Brooks in the role. She plays a powerful woman who is a little bit Jane Tennison from Prime Suspect but longs to be James Bonds’ M.”

In the 60-minute special the spirits are gathering at Ravenhill Hospital for the Completely Insane where TV researcher Phil from “Dale Winton’s Overnight Ghost Hunt” is scouting locations. He is about to have a night that he will never forget – assuming he lives that long…

Set on the scariest night of the year, this gothic special features an anthology of terror that will both fright and delight. It will both trick and treat.

Other stars across the special and the new series include the return of Eileen Aitkins as Nurse Kenchington, Dawn French as Joy, Daisy Haggard as Debbie, Jason Tompkins as Robert, Lisa Hammond as Kerry and Christopher Biggins as himself.

The cast for the second series also includes Jason Watkins (Being Human, Lark Rise To Candleford), Mark Bonnar (Casualty), Sarah Solemani (Him and Her), David Cann (Brass Eye) and Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd).

Filming on the Halloween special and series two has now finished. The Halloween special will air later this year on BBC Two and series two will follow in 2011, with another mystery set to draw viewers into the disturbingly weird and wonderful world that is Psychoville.