ITV commission The Yorkshire Ripper drama

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 21 October 2020
'Des' star David Tennant

'Des' star David Tennant

The makers of ITV's 'Des' are behind a new true crime drama, 'The Yorkshire Ripper', which will tell the story of the five-year search for notorious serial killer Peter Sutcliffe between October 1975 and January 1981

ITV has commissioned true crime drama 'The Yorkshire Ripper'.

New Pictures, the makers of 'Des' – the drama based on the real-life story of serial killer Dennis Nilsen, who was played by David Tennant – are behind the new programme, which will tell the true story of the five-year search for notorious serial killer Peter Sutcliffe, who was dubbed the Yorkshire Ripper, between October 1975 and January 1981.

More than one thousand police officers were involved in the search, the biggest manhunt in British criminal history.  

'Criminal' writer George Kay has penned the script for 'The Yorkshire Ripper', which is the current working title.

He said: "In a story full of eye-watering statistics, one for me has always stood out: Peter Sutcliffe rendered 23 children motherless.

"That one fact in itself demands that any definitive drama about this case should encompass far more than just the story of a police investigation.

"We will focus not just on the police, therefore, but the victims, their families, those who were attacked but not believed, those whose lives were permanently changed.

"This is not the story of a Ripper who hailed from Yorkshire, but the story of how Yorkshire was ripped apart."

Willow Grylls will executive produce the drama, and helmer Paul Whittington – who both worked on 'White House Farm', the ITV drama which told the true story of a fateful night in August 1985 when five members of the same family were murdered at a farmhouse – will direct.

ITV’s Head of Drama Polly Hill added: "I am delighted to be working with Willow and Paul again, after they made the brilliant 'White House Farm'.

"This promises to be a definitive look at this infamous case, and will be sensitively dramatised for ITV by this formidable team, who have a proven track record in bringing these true stories to screen."