Merchant and Smith will lead the cast of The Barking Murders for BBC One.
“‘I love playing real life characters – especially an inspirational woman like Sarah Sak – but with it comes responsibility. Along with the other families, Sarah went through so much heartache and it would have been easy for her to just accept what she was being told by the police, but something inside made her keep fighting for her son.” – Sheridan Smith
Merchant will play Stephen Port, and Smith will play Sarah Sak, the mother of Anthony Walgate. Also joining the cast is Jaime Winstone as Donna Taylor, one of the sisters of Jack Taylor.
Written by Neil McKay, the three-part drama will air in hour long slots and tells the story of four victims of Stephen Port: Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor and their families and friends who worked tirelessly to find out what happened to them. Stephen Port received a life sentence with a whole life order in November 2016.
“This is a story that can’t be ignored – how four young lives were lost and their families’ brave attempt to uncover what happened. This factual drama will shed light on their story, so it’s a privilege to be a part of telling it with the brilliant combination of Jeff Pope, Neil McKay and the BBC.” – Stephen Merchant