Channel 4 drama to explore the flawed investigation into Rachel Nickell’s murder

Channel 4 has commissioned My Name is Lizzie, a new drama written by Emilia di Girolamo.

Produced by Story Films, the four-parter examines the high-pressure investigation into the devastating murder of Rachel Nickell in 1992.

“Examining the complicated and toxic sexual politics of the early ‘90s and the police’s obsession with the wrong man, My Name is Lizzie enters a dysfunctional world, where a female undercover officer, codename ‘Lizzie James’, is asked to become sexual bait for a suspected killer.” – Channel 4 Press Office

Nickell was murdered on Wimbledon Common, in South-West London on 15 July 1992.

First identified through a Crimewatch appeal, the evidence was stacked against Colin Stagg. Believing him to be their man, the relatively young DI heading up the case signed off on a ‘bold undercover operation’ in which an attractive, young female offer was to start a relationship with Stagg.

Hugely ambitious, ‘Lizzie James’ (Niamh Algar – The Virtues, Raised by Wolves and Calm with Horses) was offered a central role in the biggest murder enquiry the country has ever seen. The police were later criticised for their one track pursuing of Stagg, who was eventually acquitted of the murder. Both he and the officer involved successfully sued the Metropolitan Police for damages.

The real perpetrator of the murder, Robert Napper, was identified by a later police investigation, which secured a conviction in 2008.

With access to previously unheard audio, video and written materials, My Name is Lizzie (w/t) includes scenes of verbatim dialogue as part of a fictionalised retelling of events, taking viewers behind the scenes of one of the UK’s most flawed and controversial police investigations.

“The unique female perspective of Emilia’s extraordinary scripts will shine a light on one of the most shocking stories in modern policing, in a drama which combines Story Films’ trademark journalistic rigor with sensitivity and nuance. And it’s a privilege to be working with Niamh Algar, who is fast becoming an iconic star of the channel.” – Caroline Hollock, Head of Channel 4 Drama

BAFTA award winning Niall MacCormick will direct the drama on which filming is due to commence later this year.

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