BBC1 to show series about murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence

The makers of Amy tackle the killing that changed modern Britain

Stephen Lawrence

Oscar winning directors James Gay-Rees and Asif Kapadia are making a landmark documentary about the murder of teenager Stephen Lawrence for BBC1.


The three-part series, provisionally called The Stephen Lawrence Story, will examine the murder of 18-year-old black student by a group of white teenage boys.

It will also probe  the complex and mishandled murder investigation which allowed the suspected killers to evade justice for almost 20 years.

The murder led to the Macpherson Report, which coined the phrase “institutional racism” and led to a revision of the double jeopardy laws in the UK as the police sought to prosecute the suspects.

“For the first time BBC1 will be looking at every aspect of the case including the subsequent inquiries, pulling it into one complete timeline and asking the same relevant questions of a contemporary Britain,” said the BBC in a statement.

The film will air around April 2018, to mark the 25th anniversary of Stephen’s murder on April 22 1993, and promises unprecedented access to people involved in the story.

Baroness Lawrence, Stephen’s mother, said: “My son Stephen was brutally taken from my family nearly 25 years ago. This documentary will be the definitive narrative of the events of the past quarter of a century – a full, frank and comprehensive drawing together of the story that has shaped the lives of both my family and myself since that fateful April night.

“But in addition to that, it is my story – that of a parent’s loss of a child, a sibling taken in unimaginable circumstances from his brother and sister and our family’s fight for justice against the odds and the system that we always believed was there to help and protect us all without the evil of racism. With every story comes an end and this final BBC documentary in conjunction with the On The Corner team will be my final public word on the events.  Whilst Stephen will always travel with us, a new journey is ahead for us all…..”

The news was announced at the Edinburgh Television Festival. There, BBC1 also unveiled a new drama about another real life murder case. From Jeff Pope and Neil McKay, the award-winning team behind The Moorside and Appropriate Adult, The Barking Murders aims to shed new light on the murder of four men last year by serial killer and rapist Stephen Port.

Told from the point of view of the families of Port’s victims, it will focus on their fight to uncover the truth about what had happened to their lost sons and brothers.

Writer Neil McKay said: “Four young men with their entire future ahead of them lost their lives in a brutal and tragic way. This is a story not only of the consequences of that loss but also of the extraordinary courage and resilience shown by those who loved them as they sought truth and justice. It is a privilege to be able to tell it.”


The 3-parter is expected to air next year.