Television presenter and contestant on the new series of Strictly Come Dancing, Laura Whitmore has signed up to star in the new Peter James adaptation which makes its world premiere in Dartford.

Whitmore will play Cleo Morely in Not Dead Enough, based on bestselling crime author James’ novel of the same name.

The play will be at the Orchard Theatre from January 25 to 28 next year before going on tour, with dates including Richmond Theatre from March 13 to 18 and the Churchill Theatre in Bromley from May 30 to June 3.

Not Dead Enough is the third James’ series of thrillers about detective Roy Grace which have sold more than 18 million copies worldwide and it is also the third stage adaptation of his work, with the previous two – The Perfect Murder and Dead Simple – also getting their first outing at the Orchard Theatre.

It sees James reunite with The Perfect Murder and Dead Simple’s producer Joshua Andrews and Olivier Award-winning director Ian Talbot.

Whitmore, who is best known for her presenting work on MTV, The Brits and I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here Now, trained in acting before turning to journalism.

She said: “I'm a huge fan of Peter James' books and so honoured to be cast as his Cleo for her first theatrical outing.

“Peter has created a strong character in Cleo Morely and I can't wait to sink my teeth into the role.”

Peter James said: “The characters in my Roy Grace novels are very precious to me and I have a very clear image of each of them in my mind.  In bringing my work to the stage, I’ve tried hard in the casting, masterminded by Josh Andrews, to find brilliant performers who bear a strong resemblance to my vision of the characters - to lift them truly off the page.  

“The moment I met Laura Whitmore and she began reading a scene from the play I had that deep thrill of knowing we had found my absolutely perfect Cleo - the way she looks and the warmth and energy she radiates - just perfect in every way.”

Not Dead Enough is at the Orchard Theatre, Dartford ( from January 25 to 28, Richmond Theatre ( from March 13 to 18, and Bromley’s Churchill Theatre ( from May 30 to June 3.

Like our What's On page on Facebook for entertainment news, interviews, reviews and features from across south London.