EXCLUSIVE: ITV is adding another factual drama to its line up. I’ve learned that the commercial broadcaster has given the green-light to a two-part drama titled Lucan, about the life and subsequent disappearance of the well known British peer. Production on Lucan is set to commence on location in London in August.
Based on the book The Gamblers and penned by ITV Studios’ Jeff Pope, Lucan tells the story of Lucan’s exploits as a member of the infamous Clermont set and will focus on the collapse of his marriage to Veronica, the Countess of Lucan. With his marriage disintegrating, Lucan became obsessed with regaining custody of his children. Ultimately the drama will reveal what happened on that fateful night in November 1974 when his children’s nanny, Sandra Rivett, was cruelly bludgeoned to death in the basement of the family’s home in London’s Lower Belgrave Street as she made her way to the kitchen to make a cup of tea. The two-parter is being produced by ITV Studios and GroupM Entertainment, with Chris Clough serving as the producer. The executive producers are Francis Hopkinson, Jeff Pope, Quentin Curtis, Richard Foster and Tony Moulsdale. Veteran director Adrian Shergold has also signed on to helm the two-parter. Shergold, repped by United Agents, has previously directed such dramas as Mad Dogs, Eternal Law and Low Winter Sun.
I’ve also learned that ITV has assembled what one insider has described as a “stellar cast” which will be led by Rory Kinnear (Skyfall), Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who) and Michael Gambon (Harry Potter). Kinnear will take on the lead role of Lord Lucan, while Eccleston will portray John Aspinall, a close friend of Lord Lucan. Rory Kinnear is represented by Markham, Froggatt & Irwin. Both Christopher Eccleston and Michael Gambon are repped by Independent Talent.
“This extraordinary and tragic event has fascinated people for 40 years”, said Executive Producer Francis Hopkinson. “Jeff Pope’s script, based on John Pearson’s book The Gamblers, brings new insight and revelations, which will surprise the audience. We are delighted that a top cast and director have come together to tell this story.”
Richard Foster, Managing Director of GroupM Entertainment, commented: “We are delighted to continue to build on our relationship with ITV Studios and to be moving into drama with them – especially when that drama is based on such an intriguing and ultimately tragic story and written by such a talented writer.”
While ITV’s Director of Drama Steve November, who commissioned Lucan, added: “The story of Lord Lucan continues to mystify and intrigue us. Jeff’s reputation for award-winning factual drama goes before him and these new scripts offer a compelling insight into the events surrounding Lucan’s disappearance.”