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ITV returns to Stephen Lawrence murder

UK commercial broadcaster ITV has commissioned a three-part sequel to 1999 TV film The Murder of Stephen Lawrence.

Stephen Lawrence

Miniseries Stephen is based on the 1993 racially motivated murder of black man Stephen Lawrence in London and the Metropolitan Police’s mishandling of the investigation.

The original investigation failed to convict those responsible, leading to a public inquiry that branded the Met institutionally racist. This resulted in sweeping changes to the law and police practices, and transformed views of racial inequality in the UK.

The new series portrays events from 2006, when still no progress had been made on the case. It will tell the story of the ongoing struggle by Doreen and Neville Lawrence to achieve justice for their son, showing how DCI Clive Driscoll – working closely with the Lawrences – put together an investigation that secured convictions for Stephen Lawrence’s two killers, more than 18 years after his death.

Directed by Alrick Riley and produced by Madonna Baptiste, Stephen is written by Frank Cottrell Boyce and Joe Cottrell Boyce.

It is being produced by Hat Trick Mercurio and exec produced by Mark Redhead, who produced the original film for ITV. Paul Greengrass, who wrote and directed the 1999 film, will also serve as exec producer alongside Jimmy Mulville and Bodyguard creator Jed Mercurio.

Hat Trick International will be responsible for the international distribution of the drama.

ITV drama head Polly Hill said: “It feels appropriate for us to return to the Stephen Lawrence case on ITV. The brilliant film, The Murder of Stephen Lawrence, could only take the story so far – Stephen continues that story.

“It’s important to remember just how long it took Doreen and Neville to get a conviction for two of the men responsible for the death of their son Stephen. Frank and Joe have written beautiful scripts and I am delighted to have Alrick on board to direct this important drama.”

The commission comes ahead of ITV re-airing The Murder of Stephen Lawrence on July 16. A live discussion programme entitled Stephen Lawrence: Has Britain changed? will be shown immediately before the film.

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