Following the death of serial killer Peter Sutcliffe in 2020, it was swiftly announced that ITV had commissioned a brand new drama about the ‘Yorkshire Ripper’s murders – with six parts detailing the horrific crimes undertaken by Yorkshire-born Sutcliffe.
Now in the process of filming ahead of its release, it’s been revealed that not everyone is happy about the drama, with Bradford council, in particular, refusing to give their support.
Boasting a fantastic cast and crew, the drama boasts George Kay (Lupin, Criminal) as its screenwriter, who is basing the script on Michael Bilton’s book, Wicked Beyond Belief: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper.
Mark Stobbart (Line of Duty) has been announced to be taking on the lead role as Sutcliffe, with Katherine Kelly (Criminal, Mr Selfridge) joining the cast as victim Emily Jackson.
The drama is one of many television pieces to be created in the past two years, with many documentaries (including one on Netflix) released following Sutcliffe’s death.
Speaking of their decision to not support the drama, a Bradford council spokesman said: “The story of this very dark and painful era has been told many times, including within well-researched documentaries which have given survivors and victims’ families a voice.
“We cannot ban filming in public spaces and have not tried to do so but we can choose whether to actively support this film or not.
“Out of respect for the many people affected, we have chosen not to support this film.”
While Bradford council has refused to lend its support to the production, Richard McCann, son of first victim Wilma McCann, is said to be working alongside the team.
Despite the refusal to allow filming in certain areas of Bradford, the team has been spotted filming in public spaces, after victim’s families allegedly requested the story ‘be told in West Yorkshire’.
Peter Sutcliffe murdered 13 women within a five-year period, and attempted to murder a further 7 during that time. Sutcliffe was finally found guilty of his crimes in 1981 – six years after his first murder.
The Bradford-born criminal died in hospital while serving his sentence in 2020 following complications with Covid-19.