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Script competition

Dark Angel descends on ITV

UK commercial broadcaster ITV has commissioned a two-part drama about Victorian serial killer Mary Ann Cotton, starring Downton Abbey’s Joanne Froggatt in the lead role.

Joanne Froggatt (right) will star in Dark Angel

Joanne Froggatt (right) will star in Dark Angel

Dark Angel, from Line of Duty maker World Productions, will chronicle the true story of the killer as she travels around North East England, marrying into unsuspecting families before killing them, taking their money and moving on. Cotton primarily used arsenic to poison her victims.

The show is supported by Screen Yorkshire’s Yorkshire Content Fund, while international distribution will be handled by Endemol Shine International.

Gwyneth Hughes (The Girl, Five Days) penned the drama, which will be directed by Emmy- and Bafta-nominated writer Brian Percival (Downton Abbey). The show was inspired by David Wilson’s book Mary Ann Cotton: Britain’s First Female Serial Killer.

Dark Angel is produced by Jake Lushington (The Bletchley Circle, The Devil’s Whore) and exec produced by Kirstie Macdonald (The Fear) and Simon Heath (Line of Duty, Code of a Killer) for World Productions. ITV director of drama Steve November and controller of drama Victoria Fea commissioned the programme.

Filming is due to begin in August in North Yorkshire and County Durham.

Earlier this week, ITV confirmed the acquisition of Poldark producer Mammoth Screen after C21 broke the news. The broadcaster recently ordered another Victorian-era show from the company, an eight-part historical drama focusing on the life of the queen herself.

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