BBC Four

Date: 16.11.2005
BBC Press Office

Michael Sheen has been cast as the legendary comedian and entertainer Kenneth Williams in Fantabulosa, a drama from BBC FOUR about the life and work of the performer who was loved by everyone - except himself.

Says Janice Hadlow, Controller of BBC FOUR: "I really can't think of a more suitable actor than Michael Sheen to take on the iconic role of Kenneth Williams. I just know that he will do credit to the late, great performer."

Williams, best known for his 22 appearances in the Carry On films, also appeared in a myriad of television, radio and stage shows.

Fantabulosa is drawn mainly from the intimacy of his outrageously frank diaries, creating a portrait of the fastidious performer who could create a thousand voices and characters, but would never be comfortable living in his own skin.

He made homosexuality acceptable to the general public, first coming to prominence and popularity through his hilarious innuendos with the character of Sandy in Radio 4's acclaimed series, Round The Horne.

He was the epitome of camp British humour and he rose to great heights in the iconic Carry On films of the Sixties, where he immortalised lines like his Julius Caesar's 'Infamy, infamy, they've all got it in for me', becoming his very own catchphrase.

Pursued on screen by buxom, bossy women to great comic effect, he was never comfortable with his own sexuality and could not bring himself to have any meaningful relationships with other men, sexual or otherwise.

His great love remained his mother Louie, a dominating, possessive woman who spoiled and adored her son above everything else.

She ignored his father, a barber, and encouraged her Kenny to aim for greater things.

Michael Sheen's acclaimed performance as Tony Blair in Channel 4's The Deal established him as an actor with a tremendous ability to literally transform himself both physically and mentally into the character.

He is reprising his role as Tony Blair in the forthcoming drama, The Queen.

Fantabulosa, written by Martyn Hesford, is produced by Ben Evans and directed by Andy de Emmony. Richard Fell and Sally Woodward are executive producers.