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Stephen Port: Filming starts of BBC drama about Barking serial killer

PUBLISHED: 17:00 12 March 2019

Stephen Port

Stephen Port

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Actor Sheridan Smith has appeared in character as the mother of the first man Stephen Port killed as filming of a BBC drama begins.

Clockwise from top left: Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth, Jack Taylor and  Anthony Walgate. Picture credit: Met Police.Clockwise from top left: Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth, Jack Taylor and Anthony Walgate. Picture credit: Met Police.

Smith stars in The Barking Murders, a factual BBC One drama told from the point of view of Port’s victims and their families.

The serial killer drugged and raped four young men before dumping their bodies near his home in Cooke Street, Barking.

The three-part factual drama is written by Jeff Pope and Neil McKay, who were responsible for The Moorside and Appropriate Adult.

Jeff said: “Neil McKay and I are delighted to be working with Sheridan Smith again, who brings such honesty and passion to every character she plays.

“Stephen Merchant didn’t hesitate when we asked him to play serial killer Stephen Port, and we are so grateful that he has agreed to take on such a difficult and challenging role.”

The families welcomed the drama when it was announced last month saying they hoped it would highlight the failing of the Met police investigation and not present their relatives as victims.

Smith plays Sarah Sak, the mother of Anthony Walgate, a 23-year-old aspiring fashion designer from Hull who was the first young man Port killed.

Port was given a whole life sentence in November 2016 after a jury found he gave his victims fatal doses of the date rape drug GHB.

He dumped the bodies of Jack Taylor, 25, from Dagenham; Anthony, from Hull; Daniel Whitworth, 21, from Gravesend in Kent, and 22-year-old Gabriel Kovari from Slovakia, near his flat over 15 months.

Among other actors appearing are Stan & Ollie actor, Rufus Jones, Stephanie Hyam from Bodyguard and Leanne Best from Line Of Duty.

They join Merchant and Jaime Winstone, who will appear as Donna Taylor - one of the sisters of Jack Taylor who was the last to be killed by the 44-year-old.

Executive producer for the BBC, Lucy Richer, said: “I’m so pleased that we’ve assembled such an extraordinary cast to be a part of bringing this important true story to screen with sensitivity and compassion.

“This compelling story shows the tireless courage and determination of the victims’ families and friends to find out what really happened.”

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