Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh to adapt his hit novel Crime for TV

British author Irving Welsh at a press conference on underground literature in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Dec 1, 2015.
British author Irving Welsh at a press conference on underground literature in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Dec 1, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

CANNES (AFP) - Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh is adapting his acclaimed novel Crime for television, the first time one of the controversial Scottish writer's books will make the leap to the small screen.

The story of a cocaine-snorting alcoholic Edinburgh detective who runs into even more trouble when he goes on holiday to Florida is widely regarded as Welsh's best since Trainspotting, with The Guardian calling it a "triumph".

Having had his world turned upside down by a child abuse case in his native city, Detective Inspector Ray Lennox runs into a paedophile ring protected by corrupt police almost as soon as he arrives in Miami.

"The story is one of a classic journey from darkness into light, and despite the troubling subject matter, I think an uplifting one," Welsh said on Sunday (Oct 16) as the series was launched at Mipcom, the world's biggest entertainment market in the French Riviera resort of Cannes.

Scottish actor Dougray Scott (Mission Impossible II, 2000, and Taken 3, 2014) has been signed to play Lennox.

Producer Tony Wood said the drama is "Welsh's toughest yet most life-affirming to date".

He said the series would be shot mostly in Florida intercut with flashbacks to the previous child abuse case Lennox investigated in Edinburgh "providing a stark contrast between the glistening paradise of the Sunshine State and Welsh's beloved sordid, infernal city".

Wood, head of Buccaneer Media which made the crime drama Marcella for Netflix, said Welsh was writing the series' six hour-long episodes with his longtime screenwriting partner Dean Cavanagh.