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Trainspotting spin-off TV show about Begbie in the works, actor confirms

Robert Carlyle in Trainspotting
(Image credit: PolyGram Filmed Entertainment)

Trainspotting actor Robert Carlyle has confirmed that a spin-off TV show about his character, Begbie, is in the works.

"Irvine [Welsh, author of Trainspotting] and myself have been chatting quite a lot recently with a couple of excellent producers in London about [continuing the Trainspotting story]," Carlyle told NME. "As you know there was another book called The Blade Artist which is just entirely about Begbie and his mad story. It’s still in its early moments but it’s looking pretty good that this will happen eventually."

Carlyle first appeared as Begbie in Danny Boyle's 1996 movie adaptation of Trainspotting, based on Welsh's 1993 novel of the same name about a group of Scottish heroin addicts. A sequel, T2: Trainspotting, also directed by Boyle, was released in 2017. As for on the page, Begbie also appears in the aforementioned The Blade Artist, first published in 2016. It follows the now-reformed character, who goes by the name Jim Francis and lives in California. However, tragic events force him back to Scotland and to confront his past. 

The actor revealed that the series is likely to consist of six hour-long episodes: "It’s such a massive story – it’s all Los Angeles back and forth to Edinburgh – and it’s difficult to do all that in an hour and a half! Especially if you want to keep the basis of that book pure."

While we wait for an update on The Blade Artist TV show, check out our list of the best Netflix shows that you can stream right now.

I’m an Entertainment Writer at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections – I help bring you all the latest news and the occasional feature, too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.