James Nesbitt to star in ITV drama, The Secret

Real-life double murder drama for ITV

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James Nesbitt (Babylon, The Missing) and Genevieve O’Reilly (Banished, The Honourable Woman) are to star in new three part ITV drama, The Secret.

The Secret tells the real-life story of a double murder, with Nesbitt playing Colin Howell, a respectable dentist and pillar of the community, who became a killer in partnership with a Sunday school teacher, Hazel Buchanan (O’Reilly).

Howell and Buchanan met at their local Baptist Church in Coleraine, Northern Ireland and they embarked upon a passionate and destructive affair, which climaxed in an elaborate plot to kill both their partners, Lesley and Trevor.

Written by Bafta winning writer Stuart Urban (An Ungentlemanly Act), and based on a best-selling book, by the former Ireland Editor of the Press Association, Deric Henderson.

Deric Henderson said: “It’s an extraordinary story, certainly the most remarkable I’ve ever covered in a long career.”

The Secret is produced by Hat Trick Productions and directed by Nick Murphy (Occupation, Prey).

Executive producer Mark Redhead said: “This is the story of an audacious and wicked crime. It tells us something very surprising and revealing about the dark side of human nature.”

The Secret will go into production in Northern Ireland in November 2015 for transmission on ITV in 2016.