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TV & Film

Netflix to air chilling new Dennis Nilsen documentary with never-before-heard tapes of killer

Another day, another Netflix true crime doc

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ITV

Netflix’s latest true crime documentary offering will be delving into the chilling crimes of Scottish serial killer Dennis Nilsen with never-before-heard tapes from his police interrogations.

Directed by Michael Harte – the man who brought us the 2019 masterpiece Don’t F**k With Cats Memories of a Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes will be offering a deeper look into the mind of the calculated killer and necrophile, who confessed to brutally murdering fifteen young men and boys between 1978 and 1983.

The official synopsis reads: “Over a five-year period, he picked up vulnerable young men, lured them back to his home and strangled them, before disposing of their bodies under the floorboards.

Netflix

“The truth about how and why he killed has been the subject of much speculation in books and documentaries over the decades since. Now, with unique access to a wealth of personal archive left in his cell after his death, including over 250 hours of never-before-published cassette tapes of his private recordings, this film will take us into Nilsen’s world.

“From a young boy growing up in a quiet Scottish fishing village to a cold-blooded murderer prowling the streets of London.”

The synopsis continues: “Set against the backdrop of 1980s Britain, when mass unemployment drew young men to London in search of their fortunes, only to find themselves destitute and easy prey, and weaving together interviews from police, journalists, survivors, bereaved families, and – for the first time – the killer’s own voice, this feature-length documentary explores how Nilsen was able to get away with multiple murders and attacks, unchallenged, for five years.”

Nilsen, who died at the age of seventy-two in 2018, was catapulted back into the spotlight last year when David Tenant portrayed him in the gripping ITV mini-seires, Des.

Speaking to the Radio Times ahead of the series’ release, Tenant said he felt it was ‘right and proper’ that Nilsen didn’t live long enough to see the series, saying: “After he was arrested, Dennis Nilsen became obsessed with was the legend of Des, the reputation that he left behind.

“Whenever he slipped out of public consciousness, there was almost a sense that he wanted to get back into it. That’s why I’m relieved he’s not alive. I would hate for this to go out and for him to be sitting in some cell somewhere imaging we were in any way glorifying him.”

Memories of a murderer: The Nilsen Tapes will be available to stream on Netflix from tomorrow, Wednesday August 18th.

TV & Film

Steve Coogan to play Jimmy Savile in new BBC drama

Coogan said the decision to portray Savile was not one he took lightly

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BBC

Actor and comedian Steve Coogan will be taking on the role of disgraced paedophile Jimmy Saville in a new BBC drama.

The Reckoning, which was announced in October last year, will recount the early years of Savile’s career as a DJ in the North of England and his rise to fame as a television host for the BBC, right up to his twilight years and his tactics to use fame and money to cover up his heinous crimes. 

It will also take a focus on the impact Saville had upon his victims, most of whom were just children at the time of the abuse.

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Middleton-born Coogan, who is best known for his role as the comedic Alan Partridge, has since spoken out about the controversial casting, noting that he ‘didn’t take the decision lightly’.

He told BBC News: “To play Jimmy Savile was not a decision I took lightly. Neil McKay has written an intelligent script tackling sensitively an horrific story which – however harrowing – needs to be told.

The Reckoning is a unique opportunity to give Savile’s survivors, the people who inspired this project, a voice. I feel sure that Steve Coogan’s powerful performance as Savile will create a debate around how the cult of celebrity cloaked him from scrutiny.”

Executive producer Jeff Pope also stressed that the role is being approached with the ‘greatest care and integrity’, saying: The purpose of this drama is to explore how Savile’s offending went unchecked for so long, and in shining a light on this, to ensure such crimes never happen again. Steve Coogan has a unique ability to inhabit complex characters and will approach this role with the greatest care and integrity.”

Yet despite these claims of authenticity, the drama has still been met with a wave of criticism, with many branding the decision to make a drama on Savile as ‘disgusting’.

One Twitter user wrote: “Could go my whole life without seeing a drama series on this. Given the Savile victims were vulnerable children & I have no doubt this still affects them now also probably many who didn’t speak out, who needs to see this misery.”

Others have also accused the BBC of hypocrisy for commissioning the programme: Jim’ll Fix It was aired on the channel and a 2016 report into his abuse found that several senior members of staff at the BBC missed numerous opportunities to stop him.

A release date for The Reckoning has yet to be announced.

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TV & Film

Tiger King sequel confirmed by Netflix

Tiger King is back for more murder, mayhem and madness…

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Netflix

It’s official: Tiger King, the Netflix docuseries that captivated millions of viewers during the early days of the pandemic, is getting a sequel. 

The streaming service confirmed the exciting news today, revealing that Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin, the duo who directed the original Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, will be returning for the second instalment.

A synopsis for Tiger King 2 reads: “The global hit Tiger King, which attracted 64 million households in the first four weeks after its March 2020 premiere, will return to Netflix for more madness and mayhem.”

Further details surrounding the new docuseries, including the involvement of certain Tiger King favourites such as ‘that b***h Carole Baskin’ have remained tightly under wraps – though a single shot of protagonist Joe Exotic on the phone in prison was flashed in the trailer, leading many to believe Netflix may have secured never-before-seen footage of the eccentric former zoo owner.

And Tiger King 2 isn’t the only thing on Netflix’s extensive bill: in their announcement, they also unveiled a number of exciting projects set for release, including The Puppet Master: Hunting the Ultimate Conman – a three-part series launching in January 2022, telling the ‘jaw-dropping story of one of the world’s most audacious conmen who was convicted in 2005 for stealing fortunes and destroying multiple lives’.

Film The Tinder Swindler will be premiering in February 2022, while documentary film Trust No One: The Hunt for the Crypto King and series Bad Vegan will also be released at some point next year.

Netflix

A release date hasn’t yet been announced for Tiger King 2, though it can be expected to premier at some point next year.

Joe Exotic, real name Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, shot to viral fame following the release of the original Tiger King in 2020, which followed his exploits and antics as the owner of Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma.

However, shortly after the documentary series aired, he was sentenced to serve twenty-two years in prison on charges of murder for hire and animal abuse. 

Exotic has continued to maintain his innocence and appealed to a higher court, even imploring to former President Donald Trump for a pardon.

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TV & Film

Waterloo Road is returning as a long-running series, BBC confirms

Waterloo Road is back!

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BBC

The hit noughties drama Waterloo Road is officially coming back as a long-running drama series, the BBC has confirmed today.

The series, which made its debut on BBC One in 2006, became a staple week night watch for millions of people across the UK, but sadly came to an end in 2015 when producers announced it had ‘reached the end of its lifecycle’.

But evidently, they’ve had a change of heart because it has been announced today that the show will be making its long awaited comeback. 

The official Waterloo Road Twitter page shared a cryptic post this morning, writing: “Psst. We’ve heard a rumour going around school” alongside a snap of a piece of paper with the words “Brand new Waterloo Road coming soon!”.

Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama, then confirmed the news, saying: “Waterloo Road is the perfect lens through which to explore post-Covid Britain, from the perspective of those who have arguably been affected most: young people in education.

“We are thrilled to be returning to this brilliant format – its thrills and spills, unmissable characters and high drama – at a time when audiences across Britain need it most – and to be collaborating with the brilliant Cameron Roach and Wall To Wall on its return.”

The BBC say that the revival of the series will be filmed here in Greater Manchester, and will boost drama production skills in the North of England and help to reshape the BBC’s drama slate to better reflect, represent and serve all parts of the country.

Further information about the series including casting and release dates are yet to be revealed.

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