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‘Around The World In 80 Days' — all about the new BBC drama with 'Des' star David Tennant

Around The World In 80 Days on the BBC with David Tennant, Ibrahim Koma and Leonie Benesch.
Around The World In 80 Days on the BBC with David Tennant, Ibrahim Koma and Leonie Benesch. (Image credit: BBC)

In his latest role for BBC1’s much-anticipated drama Around the World in 80 Days, David Tennant couldn’t look more different from the sinister serial killer Dennis  Nilsen he played in ITV's Des (to be shown in the U.S. on Sundance Now from October 15). Former Doctor Who star Tennant dons a moustache and cravat to play literature’s most famous explorer, Phileas Fogg, in the series which is a modern take on the 19th century novel by French author Jules Verne.

Around The World In 80 Days release date

Filming of Around The World In 80 Days began in February 2020 but was interrupted by the global pandemic, so the shoot has only just picked up again recently. Filming is happening all over Europe including Croatia.

BBC1 has revealed that the adventure will play out over eight episodes in 2021 and each episode will be 60 minutes long. It's a good bet that Around The World in 80 Days could be shown on BBC1 over the Christmas and New Year season in 2021 (it has that vibe!), although this has yet to be confirmed.

The story of BBC1’s Around the World In 80 Days


The epic eight-part series Around The World In 80 Days follows intrepid adventurer Phileas Fogg and his newly employed French valet Passepartout as they attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days as part of an outrageous bet. Along the way they’re joined by an aspiring journalist, Abigail Fix, who seizes the opportunity to report on the legendary journey. But the valiant trio find themselves in some hair-raising situations and end up facing the scorching heat of the desert, skullduggery in Hong Kong and strikes in Paris. 

Around The World In 80 Days cast — who is joining David Tennant

Joining David Tennant in Around The World In 80 Days are rising French star, Ibrahim Koma (Je Suis Daddy, Mother is Wrong) as Passepartout, the mercurial chancer whose role as Fogg’s valet ends up changing his life forever. Meanwhile, Leonie Benesch, who was Prince Philip’s sister Cecilie in The Crown on Netflix, is playing Abigail Fix, a journalist determined to make her mark in a man’s world and emerge from the shadow of her British establishment father.

"Around The World in 80 Days" star David Tennant as Dennis Nilsen on trial in ITV's "Des."

'Around The World in 80 Days' star David Tennant playing Dennis Nilsen on trial in ITV's Des. (Image credit: ITV)

Is there an Around The World in 80 Days trailer?

With filming of Around the World in 80 Days still underway, the BBC are yet to release a trailer. But as soon as one arrives we will post it.

More about this BBC1 adaptation of Around the World In 80 Days

This adaptation of Around The World in 80 Days is written by a top team including Wild at Heart writer Ashley Pharoah, who also co-created the hit BBC1 series Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes. ‘We’re thrilled to have such a talent as David to play this modern take on the iconic role of Phileas Fogg,’ says executive producer Simon Crawford Collins. ‘I’m excited that viewers will also have the pleasure of watching the extraordinary talents of Leonie and Ibrahim in the roles of Fix and Passepartout, as they travel around the world. The series is full of adrenaline, heart and of course lots of fun, thanks to Ashley and our talented writing team. Viewers are in for something really special!’

All about the Around The World In 80 Days' the novel

The novel Around The World in 80 Days by the French writer Jules Verne was first published in French in 1872. It’s one of Jules Verne’s most acclaimed works and has been adapted many times in theatre, radio, film and on TV. See below

Other adaptations of Around The World In 80 Days

David Niven famously played top-hatted Phileas Fogg in a lavish 1956 Hollywood movie of Around The World In 80 Days, alongside Shirley MacLaine, John Carradine and Robert Newton. A 1989 television version of Around The World In 80 Days also saw former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan as Phileas Fogg and Monty Python legend Eric Idle as Passepartout.