Helen Hunt is to star in a new BBC World War II drama.

Helen Hunt

Helen Hunt

The 'What Women Want' actress will appear alongside Lesley Manville, Jonah Hauer-King and Julia Brown in 'World on Fire', which will be set in the first year of the conflict and told through the fates of ordinary people from Britain, Poland, France, Germany and the United States affected by the war.

Writer Peter Bowker said: "'World on Fire' tells the hidden human stories within the big historical events we think we know.

"From Harry, a young English translator in Warsaw caught up in negotiations with the Nazis and trying to smuggle his Polish lover Kasia out of the country, to Lois, the girl who is waiting for him at home, a young Mancunian factory worker who will come to take all the opportunities the war can offer to live a different kind of life.

"To Nancy, a female US war correspondent who can't find peace unless her life is at risk, to the Rossler family in Berlin, worried for their soldier son and willing to do anything to protect their disabled daughter from the attentions of the ruling Nazi regime.

"These are the stories of the ordinary people who shaped our world. Stories of loyalty and brutality, courage and fear, hopes, stories of love and loss, hopes and dreams forged in extraordinary times."

Zofia Wichłacz, Brian J. Smith, Parker Sawyers, Tomasz Kot, Bruno Alexander, Johannes Zeiler and Eugénie Derouand will also star in the gripping seven-part drama series.

Filming will get underway this week in Prague, and will continue in Manchester, London, Paris and Berlin.

Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama, added: "Pete's funny, humane and poignant writing gives us a perspective on those early days of the Second World War which we have never seen before.

"Spanning four nations, the canvas for the drama is vast, but the experience Pete gives us is boots on the ground granting us special insight into one of the most pivotal and seismic moments in Twentieth Century history.

"It is an honour to be working with Pete, director Adam Smith and producers Mammoth Screen as they bring this story to life."

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