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Manchester man named as main suspect in Netflix’s eerie new true crime series

Sophie’s murderer was never captured, but the suspicion has always been pinpointed on one man…



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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. 

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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. 

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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.’

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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. 

TV & Film

Gogglebox’s Jenny missed last episode as she was in hospital, co-star and friend Lee confirms

Fans of the pair were worried by their absence during Friday night’s episode



Channel 4 & @jennyandlee_gogglebox / Instagram

Gogglebox favourite Jenny Newby ‘isn’t very well’ and is in hospital following an operation, her co-star and friend Lee Riley has confirmed. 

Jenny and Lee have been a staple part of the Channel 4 show since 2014, and have gained a loyal fanbase thanks to their antics and comical television commentaries from their caravan in Hull.

However, fans were concerned on Friday (May 6th) when the pair were absent from the evening’s episode, with many taking to social media to ask where the beloved duo where.

And on Sunday, Lee then appeared alone at the Bafta awards, where he gave an explanation for Jenny’s absence from the show.

Speaking to the Daily Star from the red carpet, Lee confirmed that his friend ‘isn’t very well’ having recently undergone an operation in hospital.

He explained: “She is not very well, she is having an operation, a mini one, but she is recovering well though.

“She was invited but the appointment was in Bafta week. You can’t turn down an NHS operation down can you? But she is doing well.”

Lee also told The Sun that Jenny’s operation was ‘minor’ and that ‘she’ll be watching [the Bafta Awards] from her hospital bed’.

Gogglebox went on to win the prize for Best Reality and Constructed Factual show at the Bafta Awards at the Royal Albert Hall. 

Following the win, Lee took to the stage with a number of other cast members to give a speech, where he paid tribute to those who lost their lives, saying the award was for the ‘past and present families who have been on Gogglebox… it is an honour to get it for them’.

Following Gogglebox’s win, Stephen Lambert, chief executive of Studio Lambert, then addressed the UK government’s plan to privatise Channel 4.

He said: “Gogglebox might have ended when it started nine years ago as it got modest ratings, but a publicly owned risk-taking Channel 4 believed in it and they stuck with it.

“If the government go ahead with its destructive plan to end Channel 4, these kinds of risks will not be taken and a big part will have ended for no good reason.”

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TV & Film

Stephen Graham praised for ‘powerful’ speech following his BAFTA win

‘I swear on my ma’s life, we really weren’t expecting this’




Fans have praised Stephen Graham for his ‘powerful’ speech after prison drama Time picked up up the TV Bafta for Best Mini-Series.

The three-part BBC series saw Graham take on the role of prison officer Eric McNally, while Game of Thrones star Sean Bean portrayed Mark Cobden, a teacher, husband and father attempting to navigate and survive life behind bars.

Yet while the show was met with wide-spread praise, the cast were visibly shocked when it was announced as the winner, with Graham later confirming in his speech that he was not expecting the win.

Taking to the stage with his fellow cast members, Graham said: “I swear on my ma’s life, we really weren’t expecting this.”

He went on to praise the ‘phenomenal cast of young working class men’ who were ‘absolutely outstanding’, saying: “It was an absolute joy to be a part of.

“I just want to say, this is the reason that I wanted to be an actor as a kid, to tell stories which had a social commentary.”

In a nod to the other nominated series, which included Channel 4’s It’s A Sin and Landscapers, Graham added: “I just want to say, this isn’t a game of footy, so there shouldn’t be a winner or a loser.

“We’re all winners because we’re all doing exactly what we want to do.”

He then quipped: “I was just want to say as well, it was an absolute honour to get to act with my wife!”

Despite the cast’s own shock, fans were delighted to see the series win at the awards evening, with many praising Graham not only for his performance, but for his ‘brilliant’ speech. 

One Twitter user wrote: “Just when you can’t love this man anymore @StephenGraham73 he makes a speech like that. So happy for #Time it was brilliant”.

Another commented: “Finally Stephen Graham the UK’s best actor wins a Bafta…”. 

Time is available to stream now on BBC iPlayer.

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TV & Film

BBC to air Hacienda documentary for 40th anniversary with rare and unseen archive footage

The documentary will show never-before-seen footage from the legendary nightclub



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The BBC has commissioned a one-off documentary about the Haçienda to mark the fortieth anniversary of the nightclub’s opening. 

The documentary will combine rare and unseen archive with first-hand testimony from those who were involved during the Haçienda’s heyday to tell the story of how the famed nightclub transformed the UK’s music scene.

The documentary will air on BBC Two, though a broadcast date is yet to be confirmed. 

Also celebrating the milestone anniversary is a new book curated and compiled by a team headed up by Rebecca Hook and written by James Anderson, titled Haçienda Threads.

The book will feature rare and never-before-seen photographs from the nightclub, its regulars and international music icons alike.

The team behind the upcoming book have put out a request to anyone who attended the Haçienda, any of its associated club nights or any of the Haçienda Classical events to submit their personal photographs to be included in the book.

The deadline for submission has now been extended until Sunday May 15th, which is one week before the Haçienda’s fortieth anniversary.

To submit any of your own photographs, you can email any Haçienda memory recollections and/or images to:

The Haçienda, founded by Tony Wilson’s Factory Records and New Order, was at the forefront of Manchester’s music scene throughout the 1980’s and early 1990’s, and has been credited for the success of globally renown bands like The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays and Chemical Brothers.

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