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Spooks star Richard Armitage cast as serial killer in US thriller Hannibal

Richard Armitage has been cast as creepy serial killer The Tooth Fairy in the hit TV series Hannibal.

The Hobbit and Spooks star will join Mads Mikkelsen, who plays Hannibal Lecter in the US show, with NBC announcing his casting using a pun on his Hobbit character's name Thorin Oakenshield.

NBC, which screens the show in the US, tweeted: "Francis Dolarhyde is going to be a real *Thorin* Hannibal's side. Ok... we'll stop."

Richard is set to play Francis Dolarhyde, AKA The Tooth Fairy, who features in Tom Harris's novel Red Dragon, which the TV series and films were based on, and who has been played in the past by Ralph Fiennes and Tom Noonan.

He is nicknamed The Tooth Fairy because he bites the bodies of his victims and made his most memorable previous appearance in the 2002 film Red Dragon, alongside Sir Anthony Hopkins and Edward Norton.

Richard, 43, played Lucas North in Spooks and Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood, both BBC1 series.

Hannibal screens on Sky Living in the UK.