Stephen Merchant & Sheridan Smith To Star In BBC One’s ‘The Barking Murders’

Stephen Merchant (Extras, The Office) and Sheridan Smith (The Moorside, Mrs Biggs) have been set as the leads in The Barking Murders, BBC One’s three-part Stephen Port drama from the team behind The Moorside and Appropriate Adult.

The Barking Murders will go beneath the headlines to 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.

Stephen Merchant will play Stephen Port; while Sheridan Smith has been cast as Sarah Sak, the mother of Anthony Walgate. Additionally, Jaime Winstone (Five Daughters, Babs) has also been cast in the three-parter. She will play Donna Taylor, one of the sisters of Jack Taylor.

Neil McKay penned the scripts for The Barking Murders, which is set up at ITV Studios. Care helmer David Blair is the director, while Serena Cullen is the series producer. The executive producers are McKay, ITV Studios Head of Factual Drama Jeff Pope and the BBC’s Lucy Richer. The Barking Murders was commissioned by the BBC’s Controller of Drama Piers Wenger the BBC’s Director of Content Charlotte Moore.

“The Stephen Port murders have shone a light not just on the life of one deeply disturbed individual but into the plight of the four innocent young gay men who fell foul of him”, Wenger said. “Jeff and Neil will go behind the headlines to tell the story from a fresh perspective considering the impact of these crimes rather than the crimes themselves and will explore the challenges the police faced in identifying the serial nature of the killings. We are thrilled with the cast which has been assembled to tell this story and look forward to bringing this difficult but very timely story to BBC One.”