A murder case from 29 years that resulted in a man wrongly accused and a toddler left motherless has been turned into a new Channel 4 drama.
The brutal murder of Rachel Nickell, who was stabbed to death in front of her toddler son, on Wimbledon Common in 1992 was a very high profile case that took 16 years to solve.
Channel 4 has now turned this haunting story of the controversial police investigation into a four-part drama, which will star Niamh Algar (MotherFatherSon) and Wales’s own Sion Daniel Young (Keeping Faith/Un Bore Mercher).
Read more: Channel 4’s Deceit: The Welshman playing wrongly-accused Colin Stagg in real-life drama about Rachel Nickell murder
The police investigation used a female officer, codenamed Lizzie James, to try to honeytrap Colin Stagg, the innocent man who the police believed committed the murder.
Who stars in Deceit?
Irish actress Niamh Algar is taking on the role of Sadie Lizzie James, becoming the sexual bait for the unknowingly suspected Colin Stagg.
Previously Niamh has starred in Channel 4’s The Virtues, alongside Stephen Graham, and BBC’s MotherFatherSon with Helen McCrory.
Speaking about Deceit she said: “Ultimately it was the script and the unique female perspective the story was told through. I was only a baby when this event happened, so it was incredibly interesting to me and the way Emilia [di Girolamo, writer] portrayed this character in her writing, I’d never really seen it done before for TV.”
Sion Daniel Young
In one of his first major TV roles, Cardiff-born actor Sion Daniel Young will be playing suspect Colin Stagg.
Despite ultimately being proven innocent, with the case dropped and thrown out after Colin had served 13 months in prison, the police pursued Colin with undercover officer ‘Lizzie James’ for over a year.
Sion has previously appeared in the 2012 film Private Peaceful and the BBC One thriller Keeping Faith/Un Bore Mercher.
Playing Detective Inspector Keith Pedder, who is in charge of the case, is Harry Treadaway who you may recognise from the Netflix hit show, The Crown.
DI Pedder is under a lot of pressure to crack this case and is desperate to succeed, taking on controversial methods which result in the pursuit of the wrong suspect.
Alongside The Crown Harry has also appeared in Star Trek: Picard and Mr. Mercedes.
Eddie Marson is playing famous criminal profiler Paul Britton who is called in by DI Keith Pedder to help solve the case., whose work on the case remains controversial today.
The criminal profiler worked on many high profile cases, including the James Bulger murder in Merseyside and Fred and Rose West in Gloucester.
With a career including Deadpool 2, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw as well as being the voice of Channel 4’s hunted, Eddie took on this role after reading and loving the script.
Also known for starring in another crime drama, BBC1’s Line of Duty, Rochenda Sandall is taking on the role of Lucy, who is Lizzie James’ best friend.
Lucy encourages and pushes Lizzie to do well in this undercover role as she wants to see women succeed more in the police forces, at time of less equality.
Rochenda has also starred in BBC’s Small Axe and Netflix’s UK version of Criminal alongside Kit Harrington.
Playing Baz, who is Lizzie’s handler and looking out for her, is Nathaniel Martello-White who has also appeared in Small Axe.
While Lucy is encouraging Lizzie to go further and further as the honeytrap, Baz is cautious and wary of the risks involved.
Niamh Algar is playing ‘Lizzie James’, the undercover police officer who honeytrapped Colin Stagg
(Image: Channel 4)
Deceit Filming Locations
Deceit was filmed in and around London, with Channel 4 not giving away any exact locations.
In 1992 the real murder of mother Rachel Nickell, who was 23 years old when she was stabbed to death, took place on Wimbledon Common.
Rachel, her partner Andre Hanscombe and their son lived nearby in Balham and Rachel was walking her dog with her toddler son when she was killed.
Colin Stagg was from Roehampton, an area near by, and was known for also walking his dog on Wimbledon Common.
What time does Deceit start?
Deceit starts on Channel 4 on Friday, August 13 at 9pm and there are four episodes in the series.
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