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Howzat! star to return as Sir Frank

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Howzat! star Lachy Hulme, who stunned TV audiences with his portrayal of media tycoon Kerry Packer, is poised to play Packer's father, the iconic Nine Network founder Sir Frank Packer.

Hulme will play Packer snr in the Nine Network miniseries Power Games: The Packer-Murdoch War.

Nine's co-head of drama Andy Ryan said that from the outset it was felt Hulme would be the strongest actor for the role.

"We weren't trying to be cute in turning Kerry into Sir Frank, we really felt that Lachy has the right presence and the range and the physicality for the role," Ryan said.

Nine has also confirmed that actor Patrick Brammall, now starring in the ABC comedy The Elegant Gentleman's Guide to Knife-Fighting, will play Rupert Murdoch in the project.

Brammall also starred in the ABC series The Strange Calls and A Moody Christmas.


Ryan said he and co-head of drama Jo Rooney have been watching Brammall's career with particular interest. "He has a real comic turn, but he's also a really strong dramatic actor," Ryan said.

"What he is going to bring to Rupert is charm and wit. People know Rupert Murdoch these days as quite a closed book, but in his younger days, when we're portraying him, he was a risk-taking maverick and a real charmer."

The miniseries will explore the early rivalry between the two rising Australian media barons.

Their first encounter – at a tennis party in 1960, which will be dramatised in the miniseries – "would forever change their lives, the future of their country, and the face of the world's media", early marketing material for the project says.

The miniseries will cover the period between 1960 and 1975, and chronicle how the Packer and Murdoch dynasties clashed as they "battled for control of Australia's newspaper and television industries".

Howzat! Kerry Packer's War was one of Nine's strongest performers in 2012, drawing 2.097 million viewers to its first instalment, and 2.091 million viewers to its conclusion.

Power Games: The Packer-Murdoch War will air in 2013.