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Reece Shearsmith to play murderer Malcolm Webster in ITV drama

Reece Shearsmith in The Cottage

Story by Jack Foley

REECE Shearsmith is to play convicted murderer Malcolm Webster in a new ITV drama series.

The Widower will follow Webster over a 13-year period during which he murdered his first wife and attempted to kill his second wife before fleeing.

Sheridan Smith, recently seen alongside David Morrissey in the BBC romantic drama The 7.39, is to play Webster’s wife, Claire, who he poisoned and then killed in a staged car crash.

Archie Panjabi, of The Good Wife, also stars as nurse Simone Banerjee, with whom Webster had a relationship with in Scotland.

The cast further includes Kate Fleetwood, who will play his second wife Felicity Drumm, while John Hannah will play Detective Inspector Charlie Henry, who investigated the case.

Henry will act as police advisor on the production, with both Drumm and Banerjee also serving as consultants.

The drama will be written by Jeff Pope, whose previous work includes Mrs Biggs and Lucan for TV and the BAFTA and Golden Globe nominated film, Philomena (with Steve Coogan).

He commented: “This is a quite extraordinary story, far more chilling than any fiction. Webster was a banal, almost benign face of evil. He was so clever at hiding his tracks and presenting a plausible front to his friends, family and colleagues that he was able to do what he did without really attracting suspicion.

“The courage and tenacity of Webster’s second wife Felicity, and his last intended victim Simone, is all that stood between him and potentially more murders.”

Webster, 54, and originally from Surrey, was jailed for a minimum of 30 years in 2011 for murdering Claire Morris in Aberdeenshire in 1994. He was also convicted of staging a similar attempt to murder his second wife, Felicity Drumm, in New Zealand.

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