Lord Lucan’s daughter: “My family has never endorsed this drama”

Camilla Bingham QC, and the son of murder victim nanny Sandra Rivett, say the events are not a subject suitable for "entertainment", while star Rory Kinnear says “I don’t like to judge the characters I play”

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The mystery surrounding the disappearance of Lord Lucan is the subject of an ITV drama which is yet to be broadcast – but a relative of the Peer and the son of his alleged murder victim have already voiced their opposition to it happening at all.

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The son of murder victim Sandra Rivett – bludgeoned to death on the night of November 7 1974, when Lord Lucan disappeared – has said that ITV is “profiting” from his mother’s death.

Neil Berriman – who was given the surname of his new parents – adds that he has no intention of watching the drama.

Set to air on Wednesday 11 December, it seeks to dramatise events leading up to and including the fatal night when Berriman’s birth mother, the Lucan nanny Sandra Rivett, was killed. It is thought that she was mistaken for Lady Lucan.

Berriman said: “They have invited me to watch the drama but I have got no intentions of going. The programme is not entertainment.

“I can understand interest in certain aspects of the case, but I think depicting the murder is appalling.”

Berrriman, who only found out that he was the son of Sandra Rivett after his adoptive mother died nine years ago, says he is in touch with Lord Lucan’s daughter Camilla Bingham, a QC.

She agrees that the events do not constitute a subject fit for ‘entertainment’, telling Radio Times: “To be clear, the collective Lucan family has never endorsed this drama and I don’t believe that the Rivett family has either. ‘Declining to engage’ with the producers is not the same as endorsing their adventure. In or around June of this year I was informed in general terms that the making of a drama was underway and told that I would receive further details nearer the time of broadcasting. I have received no such details.

“I am not aware that the drama will offer any new ‘insights’ into the tragic events of 7 November 1974 which led to the death of lovely Sandra. If there were new ‘insights’, the proper course would be for the relevant evidence to be submitted to the police, not titivated and presented to the public under the guise of ‘entertainment’.

“It is hard to imagine that any reader will find that angle new or interesting. This drama will not inform or educate and no right-thinking person could regard it as entertainment.”

ITV had already said in a statement on the drama: “ITV has contacted everyone immediately connected with the story and given them a chance to engage and discuss any concerns. No one connected with this story had declared they were unhappy about us pursuing the drama. This includes the Lucan family and, in particular, the family of Sandra Rivett. The drama is not a re-hash of the story but rather seeks to provide a new insight into the events of 7 November 1974 and, crucially, attempts to answer the riddle of what became of Lord Lucan.”

In the drama, Lucan is portrayed by Rory Kinnear who does not reveal what he thinks happened on the night he disappeared.

“I don’t like to judge the characters I play,” he told Radio Times. ”And you don’t tell the audience what they’re meant to be thinking. But when you tell real-life stories you remove the ability to dismiss it as you would a work of fiction. Something like this happened. If we can’t judge, we can try to understand.”

The new issue of Radio Times goes on sale on Saturday 30 November


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