The BBC TV film The Trick will air tonight (Monday October 18), telling the story of the ‘Climategate’ affair from 2009.

Starring Jason Watkins as Professor Simon Jones, the Director of Climate Research at the University of East Anglia, it details Jones being the victim of hacking that saw thousands of emails stolen and then used by climate change deniers.

The ensuing media storm that undermined public confidence in science and Jones having to fight unjustified persecution is then brought to the forefront.

It was directed by Pip Broughton, best known for helming the series Keeping Faith, and written by Owen Sheers.

Watkins said of the film: “It is rare that a drama marries the personal and the public in such a compelling way - the urgent need to tackle the effects of the earth’s warming is not going away and the research into this project has been sobering.

“It is a privilege to play the brilliant scientist, Phil Jones, whose own private world was so threatened from outside and whose research and efforts have been so vital globally in combating the effects of climate change.

“I’m delighted to be performing alongside Victoria, the whole exceptional cast and with Pip Broughton, whose singular and beautiful work I so admire.”

Owen Sheers said: “The Trick is both a story of a particular moment in time, and a story for our times. The events that came to be known as Climategate were a powerful coalescence of forces that have since shaped much of our last decade.

“At its heart, however, this is also a story about the people caught at the eye of a new kind of storm, and how in the end despite attack from all sides, the integrity and truth of their important work won through.”

How to watch The Trick?

The TV film will air on BBC One at 8.30pm tonight and will finish at 10pm.

It will also be made available to stream on BBC iPlayer at the same time.

Who is in the cast of The Trick?

Alongside Watkins, Victoria Hamilton from The Crown will play Jones’s wife Ruth.

Additionally, the likes of George MacKay, Adrian Edmondson, Jerome Flynn, Chris Larkin, Pooky Quesnel and David Calder will feature.

The Trick will air on BBC One at 8.30pm on Monday October 18