Award-winning Irish director Dearbhla Walsh is set to direct a BBC adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel Esio Trot.

Ms. Walsh from Tubbercurry Co.Sligo won an Emmy for ‘outstanding direction of a mini series’ for her work on Little Dorrit in 2009. She also won an IFTA for her work on ‘The Silence’ in 2011.

Ms Walsh has worked in television for 21 years. Her work encompasses children's programming and soap operas  EastEnders and Shameless

Her other credits include Funland, The Tudors, Borgia and Talk To Me.

The announcement about the film was made on Thursday by BBC One Controller Charlotte Moore at the Edinburgh TV Festival.

She said: "It's an honour to have Dame Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman starring in this wonderful new adaptation.

"It's absolutely stellar casting for one of the nation's favourite children's classics."

The novel tells the story of Mr Hoppy, a retired bachelor, who harbours a secret passion for his neighbour, Mrs Silver.

Unfortunately she lavishes all her affection on another - Alfie, her pet tortoise.

Hoffman will play Mr Hoppy and Dame Judi will star as Mrs Silver.

Filming will begin next Spring.

A famous Quentin Blake illustration for Roald Dahl's "Esio Trot"Quentin Blake