Following on from the recent BBC One dramatisation of the Shannon Matthews true story, ITN is to produce a documentary ‘What Happened Next’ for Channel 5.

The disappearance of Shannon Matthews was a story that first gripped and then appalled Britain. Nine years later, what happened to the key characters in one of Britain’s most notorious crimes? Is there a new and shocking twist to the tale?

Shannon, then 9, went missing on her way home from school, sparking a huge search on the estate where she lived. Three weeks later she was found drugged and hidden in the base of a divan bed, in her uncle’s home less than a mile away – the victim of a cruel plot by her own mother to claim the £50,000 reward money for her return.

Featuring the insight of some of those closest to the case, ‘Shannon Matthews: What Happened Next’ shines a spotlight on Shannon’s kidnapping which some believe the police should reopen their investigation into. The programme charts the impact the lies and greed of her supposed caregivers had on an innocent girl and also looks at the repercussions for the community that came together to hunt for her, and how the story of one missing schoolgirl changed Britain.

The Moorside, produced by ITV Studios, recently aired on BBC One. The dramatisation of the Shannon Matthews case starred Sheridan Smith and kept an audience of 7 million gripped over two parts.

‘Shannon Matthews: What Happened Next’ will broadcast on Channel 5 in March.

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