Canoe man John Darwin ITV drama moves to the Headland for more filming in Hartlepool

Filming of a new primetime ITV drama about infamous Hartlepool fraudster John Darwin has moved to the Headland.

By Mark Payne
Friday, 30th April 2021, 5:32 pm
Updated Friday, 30th April 2021, 5:32 pm

On Friday the cast including Eddie Marson and Monica Dolan, who play John and Anne Darwin, shot scenes at South Crescent on the Headland.

They were also joined by the actors seemingly playing the couple’s sons, Mark and Anthony, who were kept in the dark when Darwin faked his own death after going out canoeing in 2002 to claim life insurance and avoid bankruptcy.

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Actors Monica Dolan playing Anne Darwin and Eddie Marsan playing John Darwin with the actors playing their sons Anthony and Mark during filming on the Headland.

A canoe could also been seen propped up against one of the TV vehicles.

The cast and crew are filming on the Headland for a total of five days until Tuesday, May 4.

Screenwriter Chris Lang, who has penned recent TV hits including Unforgotten and Innocent, said: “I am beyond delighted to be working with two of the finest actors of their generation.

"I have admired them both from afar for many years, not in a creepy way though, and cannot wait to see them bring Anne and John Darwin to life.”

A canoe could be seen during filming of the John Darwin drama on the Headland.

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The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe is based on the unpublished manuscript of David Leigh, who was the first journalist to track down Anne as she was on the verge of setting up a new life in Panama.

The programme will include the toll the deception took on her after she lied to their sons about John being dead for five years.

Incredibly, in the early days of the fraud, John secretly lived in a bedsit next door to the couple’s home on Coronation Drive.

On set with actor Eddie Marsan at the Seaton Hotel for the filming of John Darwin on Thursday.

At Christmas in 2007 John walked into a London police station claiming amnesia.

But his and Anne’s lies were exposed by the discovery of an infamous photo of them posing together in a Panama real estate office in July 2006.

On Monday, scenes for the drama were filmed at the bus station and on The Front, in Seaton Carew.

On Thursday, the inside of The Seaton Hotel was used as a location.

Lead actor Eddie Marsan said it was a fascinating story that if it was not true would be unbelievable.

It is not known yet when the programme will air.

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