EXCLUSIVE: Fresh off of commissioning a two-part murder mystery drama which is set to star Peter Firth and Claire Goose, ITV is moving forward with a drama about Christopher Jefferies, Joanna Yeates landlord who was falsely accused of her murder.
I’ve learned that the commercial broadcaster has now given the green-light to the drama which was written by The Queen scribe Peter Morgan and will be produced by NBCUniversal’s Carnival Films. My sources are also telling me that Jason Watkins (Trollied) has been cast in the lead role as Christopher Jefferies. I hear that production on the drama is slated to commence later this year on location in Bristol and I’m waiting to hear back from my sources on additional casting, with one source noting that the assembled cast are “some of the best names in British drama.”
The two-parter will recount the story of Jefferies who, following the murder of Jo Yeates in 2010, was arrested by police and was considered the primary suspect until evidence pointing to Vincent Tabak surfaced. Christopher Jefferies’ life was turned upside down by the ordeal, exacerbated by the intense press coverage which vilified Jefferies. Carnival Films – the production company behind such dramas as ITV’s Downton Abbey and the BSkyB/NBC co-production Dracula – is producing the 2 x 90 minute drama, which was commissioned by ITV’s Steve November. Kevin Loader is serving as the producer, with Roger Michell attached to direct.