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Alexander Armstrong signs up for BBC's Sinclair ZX Spectrum drama

LONDON - The BBC is producing a comedy drama about the race to create a British home computer, which resulted in the creation of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum.

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The 90-minute programme, which is being produced under the working title 'Syntax Era', will star Martin Freeman, famous for playing Tim in 'The Office' and Alexander Armstrong, one half of the comedy act Armstrong & Miller. It is being made for BBC Four.

It tells the story of the 1980s race for home computer supremacy between Sir Clive Sinclair, played by Armstrong, and Chris Curry, his former colleague, played by Freeman.

The production will use real life clips, including coverage of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum on John Craven's Newsround, as well as archive footage of the BBC Micro computer, Curry's triumphant model, and the Sinclair C5 vehicle -- an invention that has become a byword for for bad design.

The Sinclair brand was eventually bought by Amstrad in 1986 -- Amstrad being the company founded by Sir Alan Sugar, star of BBC One's 'The Apprentice'.

Richard Klein, controller of BBC Four, said: "Those of us that lived through the 80s will remember the sense of excitement when gadgets and technology started to appear in our homes, but not many of us will know the fascinating stories behind their arrival.

"Alexander Armstrong and Martin Freeman are excellent choices to portray Sir Clive Sinclair and Chris Curry at a time when battling to have the UK's most loved home computer was their number one priority."

The script is by Tony Saint and it is directed by Saul Metzstein.

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