Final day of scheduled filming in Hartlepool of John Darwin canoe man drama

The last day of scheduled filming for a new television drama about canoe conman John Darwin has taken place.

By Pamela Bilalova
Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 4:51 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 4:51 pm
Eddie Marsen as John Darwin on set in Hartlepool on Tuesday afternoon.
Eddie Marsen as John Darwin on set in Hartlepool on Tuesday afternoon.

The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe retells the infamous story of how Darwin faked his death in a canoeing accident off the Seaton Carew coast in 2002 before plotting with wife Anne to begin a new life in Panama.

Poolies have had opportunities to see action unravel before their eyes over the last week with cameras rolling at South Crescent, on the Headland, and the bus station and The Front, in Seaton Carew.

On Tuesday afternoon, actor Eddie Marsan, who stars as John Darwin and other cast members were pictured walking along the Headland as filming on the four-part ITV mini series continued.

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Filming underway of John Darwin ITV drama at the Headland this afternoon.

Marsan, 52, who has appeared in TV shows including Ray Donovan and movies such as The World’s End, said earlier: “The story of how and why John Darwin faked his own death to defraud insurance companies is fascinating, and if it weren’t fact, you’d think it unbelievable.

"I can’t pretend to understand what was going on in his head when he made those choices, but I’m going to do my absolute best to portray him, and I can’t wait to get started.”

The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe is based on the unpublished manuscript of David Leigh, who was the first journalist to track down John’s wife Anne as she was on the verge of setting up a new life in Panama.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

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.

John and Anne were jailed for more than six years in 2008 after he admitted fraud offences and Anne was convicted after a crown court trial.

It is not known yet when the programme will air.

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