A Manchester man accused of murdering a young woman in 1996 has once again protested his innocence after Netflix brought the crime back into the spotlight with their latest true-crime series.
Across three episodes, Sophie: A Murder in West Cork delves into the unsolved murder of French national, Sophie Toscan Du Plantier, a thirty-nine year old film maker and mother of one.
Two days before Christmas in 1996, Sophie’s body was found outside of her holiday home in West Cork, Ireland, a place she would regularly escape to from her busy life back in France.
Sophie’s body bore clear signs of assault, with over fifty injuries primarily to the head – however, because a murder hadn’t occurred in the area for decades, the police had little to no experience with this type of investigation, so the body was left outside until the pathologist arrived the next day.
Given the time that elapsed before his arrival, it was almost impossible to pinpoint a time of death, and other forensic evidence may have been lost due to this delay.
The police looked into a handful of suspects for Sophie’s murder, including her husband, Daniel Toscan du Plantier, and former lover, Bruno Carbonnet. But eventually, police tried to pin the crime on one man – Ian Bailey, a journalist from Manchester who had moved to Ireland to work as a reporter. Eerily, he had actually covered Sophie’s murder.
The police brought Bailey in for questioning when they noticed suspicious scratch marks on his hands – Bailey later insisted that they had happened when he climbed a tree to cut it down for Christmas. However, the evidence continued to stack up against Bailey, such as the level of detail about the murder and Sophie’s injuries used in his articles.
Friends also revealed that Bailey had made a confession about going ‘too far’ to them, while another witness had come forward to say they had seen Bailey in the vicinity of du Plantier’s holiday home on the night of her murder.
Bailey was also known for previous incidents of domestic violence towards his partner – a psychiatrist’s report prepared for the murder trial concluded he had a ‘personality constructed on narcissism, psycho-rigidity, violence, impulsiveness, egocentricity, with an intolerance to frustration and a great need for recognition.’
On February 10th, 1997, Bailey was arrested, as was his partner, but both were released without charges. And then, in January 1998, Bailey – alone this time – was again arrested before being released without charges.
The issue was the evidence – or the lack of it. Bailey explained away his ‘confessions’ as dark humour or his reiterating what was being said about him. There had also been no indication of forced entry at Sophie’s home, indicating that she had willingly opened her door. And, most prominently, no forensic evidence was found to tie him to the murder.
And, to this very day, Bailey maintains his innocence – just last month, he confirmed that a fresh investigation into Sophie’s murder had been authorised by Gardaí (the Irish police) after the emergence of what he described as ‘new information.’
He wrote on Twitter: “For those who have not heard a comprehensive cold case of the murder file an investigation has been authorised by Commissioner Harris as a result of me writing to him and the emergence of new information… I pray the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth emerges.”
And, on the topic of Netflix’s investigation into the matter, Bailey had merely said that he suspected the documentary series about the murder will be ‘a piece of propaganda’ and ‘a piece of demonisation.’
Bailey does appear briefly in the documentary, but only gave Netflix ‘limited access.’
Sophie: A Murder In West Cork is available to stream on Netflix now.
Gordon, Gino and Fred are returning with a ‘big fat Greek adventure’ Road Trip special this autumn
The boys are back on possibly their biggest adventure yet
Everyone’s favourite cooking trio are making a much-needed comeback with an epic road trip across Greece set to air this autumn.
The unlikely pals have travelled across various parts of the globe together as a part of their hugely successful ITV show – America, France and Italy, to name a few – and have experienced many weird and wonderful customs along the way.
And now, they are set to add the beautiful country of Greece to their growing list.
In Gordon, Gino & Fred Go Greek, the stars will be heading out to the country’s capital city of Athens and its many stunning islands – including the largest, Crete, which is where their journey will begin.
The trio will then move on in their trademark RV to other must-see Greek locations such as Santorini, Mykonos and Meteora, breaking up the driving with jet ski racing, shipwreck diving and fresh lobster hunting along the way.
ITV announced the show as part of its autumn programming, saying: “This time their RV is hitting the beautiful Greek islands and historical city of Athens, for a big fat Greek adventure, together again behind the wheel on an epic odyssey like no other.
“From island hopping on a catamaran, to jet ski racing and shipwreck diving, there will be bromance and bickering in equal measure.
“Thanks to an abundance of fantastic food, including the freshest lobster, chefs Gordon and Gino will be looking to prove that Greece’s culinary credentials are up there with the very best of Europe.
“The guys will begin their adventure in Crete, Greece’s largest island, before navigating their way to stunning Santorini, making their way to the party island of Mykonos and finishing their trip in the Greek capital Athens and the monasteries of Meteora.
“Travelling together in the birthplace of civilisation, what could possibly go wrong?”
An official air date is yet to be announced.
Love Island contestant from Wigan hit with more than 1,500 Ofcom complaints
Viewers of the show aren’t too impressed with the Wigan plumber’s antics…
Despite only entering the Love Island villa mere days ago, Wigan contestant Danny Bibby has caused quite the stir already.
The antics of Danny, a twenty-five-year old plumber and clothing brand owner from the Greater Manchester town, is already ruffling feathers among both the contestants on the ITV reality show and the viewers watching from home.
And this week, Ofcom revealed it had been hit with more than 1,500 complaints regarding his behaviour in the villa.
The regulator confirmed that precisely 1,507 complaints were made in regards to the casting, after it was revealed Danny used a racial slur on social media in 2019.
Viewers of the show have been calling for Danny to be axed after finding a racially-motivated comment on his Instagram, which has since been deleted.
The plumber quickly issued an apology on Friday, via ITV. His statement said: “I’d like to take the time to apologise to anyone that may have taken offence to my inappropriate remark.
“I never meant anything malicious by this comment at all. I am not a racist person and it’s unacceptable language and ignorant.
“I meant no offence and feel like I have really learnt from my mistakes and will never use that word again.
“I am a kind loving person and hopefully you get to see that in the show.”
There were red flags surrounding Danny before he entered the Villa, however, when he gave his thoughts on the current dynamic among contestants, saying: “The guys need an alpha male and I feel like that’s me.”
Love Island airs tonight on ITV2 at 9pm.
Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps to make TV return after 10 years
That’s something we’ll raise a glass to…
Over a decade on from its last episode, the hit BBC sitcom Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps is set to make its grand return to our screens.
The comedy followed the antics of a group of friends in their twenties and, though it was never a big hit with critics, it was consistently popular with viewers and ultimately ran for nine seasons, coming to an end in 2011.
And now, ten years on from the finale, it’s set to make a comeback.
The show’s creator Susan Nickson revealed recently that she is currently in talks with the BBC and explained that Will Mellor and Ralf Little, who played Gaz Wilkinson and Jonny Keogh, are also on board for the reboot.
Speaking on the Drama School Dropout podcast, she explained that the cogs of the BBC machine are moving ‘extremely slowly,’
She said: “So basically what you’ve got, it’s me, Will, Ralf and all three of us are just going ‘yeah, we’re here, we’ll do it’ and the BBC are going ‘ah brilliant, yeah let’s do it’ and I’m sort of sat here going ‘okay, when?’ and they go ‘well, we don’t know.’
“So what we’ve got is a corporation that has no idea.”
Susan did acknowledge that with a reboot would come a drastic script change to accommodate modern topics and issues such as the ‘Me Too’ movement which calls out toxic masculinity. She said that she pictures the ‘two ageing working-class geezers’ not fully understanding that some men treat women badly.
She said: “I want to see the comforting story of people like Gaz and Jonny, who live in a world where bad guys don’t exist. I want them to acknowledge the bad guys are out there though, but I don’t want Gaz and Jonny to be them.”
However, Susan did admit that she is unsure whether Sheridan Smith would return to reprise her role of Janet Keogh.
The BBC are yet to formally announce the reboot.