ITV orders Yorkshire Ripper drama

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ITV logo ITV has greenlit a drama based on one of the most notorious serial killer cases in the world, the hunt for Peter Sutcliffe, dubbed the Yorkshire Ripper.

New Pictures, whose recent credits include two other dramas based on real crime cases, Des and White House Farm, will produce The Yorkshire Ripper (w/t), which follows the biggest manhunt in British criminal history that took place from October 1975 to January 1981. 

Written by George Kay, the drama is based on Michael Bilton’s book, Wicked Beyond Belief: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper. Paul Whittington is in the director’s chair. It will be exec produced by New Pictures’ Willow Grylls, Charlie Pattinson, Elaine Pyke, Kay, Whittington and Bilton. 

The team will have access to an extensive archive of the investigation, including hundreds of case files, interview transcripts and police reports. 

Grylls said: “George Kay’s beautifully nuanced scripts shines a light on a case that defined the second half of the twentieth century and continues to cast a long shadow.”

Kay added: “In a story full with 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 who 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.”

New Pictures also confirmed this week that it is producing a new TV adaptation of the popular Inspector Dalgliesh crime novels, with shooting set for Northern Ireland. 

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