First look at Sheridan Smith in new BBC true crime drama The Barking Murders

The star of Mrs Biggs, Cilla and The Moorside will play the mother of one of the victims of serial killer Stephen Port

The Barking Murders - First Look

The BBC has released the first image of Sheridan Smith in upcoming true crime drama The Barking Murders.

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Smith is set to play Sarah Sak in the BBC1 drama, the mother of murder victim Anthony Walgate.

Walgate, 23, was a victim of Stephen Port, a convicted serial rapist and killer who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2016 for the murders of four young men.

According to the BBC, The Barking Murders will “go beneath the headlines to shed new light on this story by telling it from the point of view of the families of Stephen Port’s victims, focusing on their fight to uncover the truth about what had happened to their lost sons and brothers in the face of a now widely criticised police investigation.”

The Office’s Stephen Merchant will play Port, alongside Jaime Winstone as Donna Taylor, sister of victim Jack Taylor.

Other cast members include Rufus Jones (Stan & Ollie), Stephanie Hyam (Bodyguard), Leanne Best (Line of Duty), Samuel Barnett (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency) and Robert Emms (Cleaning Up).

The three hour-long episodes are written by Jeff Pope, who worked with Smith previously on Cilla, for which she was nominated for a Bafta.

Jeff Pope said, “Neil McKay and I are delighted to be working with Sheridan Smith again, who brings such honesty and passion to every character she plays. Stephen Merchant didn’t hesitate when we asked him to play serial killer Stephen Port and we are so grateful that he has agreed to take on such a difficult and challenging role.”

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In 2016, BBC3 released a documentary about the investigation into Stephen Port. Watch the film below.