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FIRST LOOK: James Norton in the BBC's Russian organised crime drama McMafia

mcmafia James Norton

The BBC has released the first image from the set of McMafia, a major new BBC organised crime series being filmed in England and Croatia

The first picture of James Norton as the son of Russian exiles in a new BBC drama about the Mafia depicts him at a family funeral.

Sporting a dark suit and fixed, solemn gaze, James stands next to his on-screen mother Oksana, played by Maria Shukshina, who is consoling another mourner.

The Bafta-nominated 31-year-old will take the leading role in McMafia, inspired by Misha Glenny’s best-selling 2008 book of the same name, which delved into the global reach of organised crime.

James, best known for his roles in ITV series Grantchester as well as Happy Valley and period drama War & Peace, stars as Alex Godman, the English-raised son of Russian exiles with previous links to organised criminals.

The eight-part drama will focus on Alex as he is drawn into the criminal underbelly he has spent his life trying to avoid through his legitimate business and with girlfriend Rebecca (Juliet Rylance).

James Norton

(Lauren Hurley/PA)


Filming is currently taking place in London before moving to Croatia.

Starring alongside James, Maria and Juliet is Game Of Thrones star Faye Marsay, The Bourne Ultimatum’s David Strathairn and Aleksey Serebryakov.

James Watkins, who directed 2012 movie The Woman In Black, joined forces with Oscar-nominated screenwriter Hossein Amini to create the TV series.

They led a writing team which inlcuded The Night Manager writer David Farr, Doctor Who writer Peter Harness and Me Without You’s Laurence Coriat.