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BBC4 commissions docuseries on UK serial killer Harold Shipman

British pubcaster BBC4 is re-opening the case of serial killer Harold Shipman in its newly-commissioned docuseries, The Harold Shipman Files: A Very British Crime Story. Produced by Wall to Wall, the 3 x 60-minute ...
August 12, 2019

British pubcaster BBC4 is re-opening the case of serial killer Harold Shipman in its newly-commissioned docuseries, The Harold Shipman Files: A Very British Crime Story.

Produced by Wall to Wall, the 3 x 60-minute series aims to re-examine the case of the family doctor thought to be Britain’s most prolific serial killer.

In January 2000, Shipman was convicted of murdering 15 of his patients. An inquiry launched after the trial, however, concluded that Shipman had likely murdered around 260, with his crimes stretching back two decades in Hyde, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire.

The Harold Shipman Files: A Very British Crime Story will see filmmaker Chris Wilson re-examine the case, meeting with friends and relatives of Shipman’s victims, some of whom will be speaking for the first time. He’ll also speak to police officers who investigated the case, as well as lawyers and doctors who were involved in the inquiry.

“There have been many films about Harold Shipman. Most attempt to take us ‘inside-the-mind’ of a serial killer,” Wilson said in a statement. “But none have fully explored the historical, cultural and social context that enabled a medical professional to take the lives of hundreds of trusting patients over more than two decades.”

Nancy Bornat is the executive producer on the series, commissioned by BBC4 channel editor Cassian Harrison and Tom McDonald, head of commissioning for natural history and specialist factual at BBC. The commissioning editor is Abigail Priddle.

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