Spinal Tap star set to play Nixon

This is Spinal Tap star Harry Shearer is to play disgraced United States President Richard Nixon in a new show based on secret White House tapes.

Nixon’s The One, which will be shown on Sky Arts later this year, is drawn from more than 2,000 hours of tapes secretly recorded by Nixon while he was in power.

Shearer has voiced dozens of characters in The Simpsons and played bass guitarist Derek Smalls in the spoof documentary about a heavy metal band.

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He said: “Having grown up in LA, I’d had Nixon in my brain my whole life and it recently struck me that the current portrayals of the man were leaving out the wonderland of his emotional complexity.

“To me, the key point of the comedy was that these conversations were being held, usually during working hours, by what was then usually described as the most powerful man in the world.”

He is not the first actor to play Nixon. Sir Anthony Hopkins and Frank Langella have both taken on the role and Nixon even made an appearance in the latest Doctor Who series.

Nixon was forced to resign after the Watergate scandal revealed an array of dirty tricks carried out against his opponents.