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Award-winning actress takes on the role of ‘Dark Angel’


Downton Abbey’s Joanne Froggatt is to star as a serial killer in new two-part ITV drama, Dark Angel.

The drama is inspired by David Wilson’s book “Mary Ann Cotton: Britain’s First Female Serial Killer”, which tells the true story of Victorian poisoner Mary Ann Cotton (played by Froggatt). 

We meet Mary Ann as a loving wife and mother, newly returned to her native North East of England. But faced with abject poverty and an ailing husband, we see how ruthlessly determined she is to pursue her desires – and a better life …

Mary Ann is a very female serial killer, a poisoner whose methods leave no visible scars, allowing her tally of victims to mount unsuspected by a Victorian society unable to conceive of a woman capable of such terrible crimes. Travelling around the North East, she insinuates herself into unsuspecting families, marrying and creating new families of her own – before killing them, taking their money and moving on.

Through adultery, bigamy, fraud and murder, Mary Ann betters herself socially and financially. But the more she kills, the greater the risk her crimes will finally be exposed …

Made by World Productions, Dark Angel is written by Gwyneth Hughes (The Girl, Five Days) and will be directed by Emmy and BAFTA award-winner Brian Percival (Downton Abbey).

ITV’s Controller of Drama, Victoria Fea, said: “Dark Angel is an extraordinary and chilling true story. We’re delighted to have an actress of Joanne Froggatt’s calibre in the lead role. The combination of a tautly written script, an outstanding cast and great producers in World Productions make this a really exciting addition to the ITV drama slate.”

Dark Angel is due to begin filming in August in North Yorkshire and County Durham.