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Sheridan Smith reunites with Jeff Pope for new BBC One Drama

The Barking Murders from Jeff Pope and Neil McKay will also star Stephen Merchant and Jaime Winstone.

Announced back in 2017, The Barking Murders will tell the story of convicted serial rapist and serial killer Stephen Port (played by Stephen Merchant) who drugged and murdered four young men which he met on a dating app. He also carried out a number of sexual offences and became known as The Grindr Killer.

The new three-part factual drama, aims to go beneath the headlines and shed new light on this story by telling it from the point of view of the families of Stephen Port’s victims, focusing on their fight to uncover the truth about what had happened to their lost sons and brothers in the face of a now widely criticised police investigation.

Sheridan Smith who previously worked with Jeff Pope on Mrs Biggs, The Widower, Cilla, andThe Moorside, will play Sarah Sak, the mother of one of Stephen's victims, Anthony Walgate and Jaime Winstone will play Donna Taylor, one of the sisters of another victim of Stephen's crimes, Jack Taylor.

Speaking about joining the cast, Sheridan Smith said "I love playing real life characters - especially an inspirational woman like Sarah Sak - but with it comes responsibility. Along with the other families, Sarah went through so much heartache and it would have been easy for her to just accept what she was being told by the police, but something inside made her keep fighting for her son.”

Whilst Stephen Merchant added "This is a story that can’t be ignored - how four young lives were lost and their families’ brave attempt to uncover what happened. This factual drama will shed light on their story, so it’s a privilege to be a part of telling it with the brilliant combination of Jeff Pope, Neil McKay and the BBC.”

Jeff Pope, Executive Producer for ITV Studios, said "I think this is an opportunity to say something about how we don't always have to accept what we are told by those in authority, and how determination, sheer bloody-mindedness and - above all else - love, will always triumph."

And writer, Neil McKay, said "Four young men with their entire future ahead of them lost their lives in a brutal and tragic way. This is a story not only of the consequences of that loss but also of the extraordinary courage and resilience shown by those who loved them as they sought truth and justice. It is a privilege to be able to tell it."

The Barking Murders will air on BBC One


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