It’s one of the great British mysteries: what ever happened to Lord Lucan? Now, a new two-part ITV drama, Lucan, is to explore the fate of the notorious aristocrat 40 years after he vanished.
Skyfall’s Rory Kinnear will play the peer who disappeared after the family’s nanny, Sandra Rivett, was found dead at the home of his estranged wife in London’s Belgravia in 1974 after being bludgeoned with a lead pipe. The attacker also turned on Lady Lucan, beating her severely before she managed to escape and raise the alarm at a nearby pub.
An inquest jury declared Lucan the killer a year later. His whereabouts since then, however, have been a mystery; with sightings of the fugitive being reported all around the globe. In 1999, the High Court officially declared him dead.
The two-part ITV drama is based on John Pearson’s book The Gamblers, which claims Lucan’s high-rolling friends who gathered at the Clermont Club in Mayfair, central London, and included Sir James Goldsmith and John Aspinall, spirited him out of the country after the murder. Former Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston will play Aspinall in a cast that also includes Michael Gambon.
The drama is written by Jeff Pope, who scripted the critically acclaimed ITV drama Mrs Biggs last year. Francis Hopkinson, Executive Producer, said of the drama: “This extraordinary and tragic event has fascinated people for 40 years. Jeff Pope’s script, based on John Pearson’s book The Gamblers, brings new insight and revelations, which will surprise the audience. We are delighted that a top cast and director have come together to tell this story.”
Filming of Lucan will begin in August 2013 in and around London.