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ITV lines up Yorkshire Ripper drama

UK commercial broadcaster ITV has commissioned a true crime drama based on the 1970s murder spree by the serial killer known as The Yorkshire Ripper.

Polly Hill

The Yorkshire Ripper (working title) will be written by George Kay and produced by New Pictures, the All3Media-owned prodco behind recent true crime scripted series Des and White House Farm.

All3Media International will handle global sales of the drama, which was commissioned by ITV head of drama Polly Hill.

The six-parter will depict the hunt for Sutcliffe between October 1975 and January 1981 – one of the most notorious and shocking serial killer cases in the world. The search lasted five years, involved over 1,000 police officers and changed the way the British police worked forever.

Based on Michael Bilton’s book Wicked Beyond Belief: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper, Kay’s scripts will focus on the lives of Sutcliffe’s victims, the loved ones they left behind and the lasting toll the investigation took on the detectives who led the investigation.

New Pictures co-founder and CEO Willow Grylls (Des, White House Farm, The Missing) will executive produce the drama with renowned director Paul Whittington (White House Farm, Little Boy Blue, The Moorside, The Crown) directing the series.

Hill said: “I am delighted to be working with Willow and Paul again, after they made the brilliant White House Farm. This promises to be a definitive look at this infamous case and will be sensitively dramatised for ITV by this formidable team, who have a proven track record in bringing these true stories to screen.”

In related news, ITV will air a US election special of revived political satire puppet show Spitting Image this Saturday.

The series, which originally aired on ITV in the 1980s, was rebooted by BritBox, the streaming joint venture from the broadcaster and the BBC. The two-part special will be available on BritBox on Saturday and the first epsidoe will air on ITV at 22.00 the same day.

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