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Gabriel Byrne leads Channel 4's Secret State

Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects, Miller's Crossing) marks his return to British TV to head the cast of Channel 4's brand-new four-part drama series Secret State, it was announced today.

Byrne plays the pivotal role of politician Tom Dawkins, the reluctant hero at the heart of this contemporary conspiracy thriller, who finds himself thrust into the spotlight of front-line politics when he least expects to be, and who risks everything by taking on the might of the establishment.

A massive industrial accident on Teesside leaves several people dead and raises awkward questions about the safety procedures of the US petrochemical company involved. As a man who has a profound belief in transparency and open government, Dawkins (Byrne) will have to tackle vested interests, financial, media, and military, both domestic and international, in his pursuit to uncover the truth and get justice for the families affected by the disaster. Along the way, he will struggle to keep his party onside and the electorate behind him, as he also weathers damaging revelations about his personal life. And as the investigation into the Teesside disaster proceeds, Dawkins becomes aware of establishment's secret ties to the petrochemical company and comes to realise that there are bigger powers at play behind the scenes.

The series will go into production next month for transmission later this year.

Golden Globe winner (for hit US drama In Treatment) Gabriel Byrne is an internationally-renowned actor and producer, arguably best-known for acclaimed roles in Miller's Crossing and The Usual Suspects.

Secret State is written by Robert Jones (Lennon Naked, Cops, Buried), based on the novel A Very British Coup by Chris Mullin, directed by Ed Fraiman (The Philanthropist, ShakespeaRE-told, A Midsummer Night's Dream) and produced by Johann Knobel (The Shadow Line, Shameless). Executive Producers are Jason Newmark, Ed Fraiman, George Faber and Charles Pattinson.

A Company Pictures/Newscope Films production.

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