Working Title Films and National Lottery franchise DNA Films have teamed to produce leading UK writer Richard Curtis' directing debut, a romantic comedy in which Hugh Grant is to play the British prime minister.

Grant is in talks to play a bachelor PM who falls in love on his first day in office with the girl who brings him his tea. Emma Thompson is also understood to be in talks to star in the film, which has the working title of Love Actually.

The film interweaves ten separate stories about Londoners looking for love in the run-up to Christmas, climaxing on Christmas Eve. Shooting is scheduled for the autumn.

"I know Richard will make an excellent front-seat director!" said producer and DNA Films co-chief Duncan Kenworthy. "And with 20 leading roles in the film, it will be exciting to work with a really wide range of talented British actors."

Having first teamed with Curtis on Four Weddings And A Funeral, Kenworthy went on to produce Curtis' Notting Hill, also with Hugh Grant, outside DNA. The franchise takes an in association credit on Love Actually, but is not investing in the production.

Working Title co-chiefs Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner are also producing, making this their sixth film with Curtis. Along with Notting Hill and Four Weddings, Working Title collaborated with Curtis on Bean, The Tall Guy and Bridget Jones's Diary.

"We are excited about Richard channelling his comic brilliance into directing the same way he does into scripts," said Bevan.

"Let's hope there's fun in store," added Curtis.