A new eight-part historical drama starring Happy Valley’s James Norton has been announced by CBS Studios.

King and Conqueror will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer and the filming for the series will take place in Iceland in 2024.

King and Conqueror is the story of a clash that defined the future of a country and a continent for a thousand years, the roots of which stretch back decades and extend out through a pair of interconnected family dynasties, struggling for power across two countries and a raging sea.

Harold of Wessex and William of Normandy were two men destined to meet at the Battle of Hastings in 1066; two allies with no design on the British throne, who found themselves forced by circumstance and personal obsession into a war for possession of its crown.

James Norton who has played roles in Little Women, Mr. Jones and Happy Valley will star as Harold, Earl of Wessex in the new BBC series.

Norton will executive produce through his production company Rabbit Track Pictures while Game of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, starring as William, Duke of Normandy, will direct an episode and also serve as executive producer.

Lindsey Martin, Sr. Vice President, International Co-Productions & Development, CBS Studios, says: “We are thrilled to partner with James, Nikolaj, Baltasar, and the entire creative team on King and Conqueror, a truly groundbreaking series with world class talent and global reach.

“Michael’s scripts offer a bold and fresh take on a story that has endured for nearly 1,000 years, and yet, the themes are as contemporary and relevant as ever.

“We are incredibly proud of what the team has achieved so far and can’t wait to see it all come to fruition on screen with our star-studded cast.”

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Sue Deeks, Head of BBC Programme Acquisition, says: “In the UK we learn about William the Conqueror, the Battle of Hastings and King Harold’s gruesome death in our school history lessons – but those headlines are all most of us can remember.

“King and Conqueror will bring Harold and William to life, depicting their lives, loves and families, and the gripping, high stakes power game that led to their fateful meeting in 1066.

“With incredible talent both in front of and behind the camera, I cannot wait for this exciting project to be realised.”