The Real `Des': The Dennis Nilsen Story

The Real `Des': The Dennis Nilsen Story


If you’ve spent the past three nights in front of Des, the harrowing dramatisation of the investigation into the crimes of mass murderer Dennis Nilsen, then this documentary might be a step too far.

But instead of David Tennant as Nilsen (though he narrates) it is a chance to see and hear Nilsen himself, a civil servant who admitted to killing and dismembering young men he’d picked up in London bars.

Remarkably there’s an interview Nilsen did in prison, which gives a degree of insight into whatever it was that existed inside his mind: “The most exciting part of the little conundrum was when I lifted the body.”

The programme also features interviews with victim’s families.


Following on from the three-part drama about the serial killer Dennis Nilsen, this documentary explores the personality of the man behind the crimes - on the surface a mild-mannered civil servant who admitted to murdering up to 15 young men over a four-year period in the late 1980s and early 1980s, disposing of their bodies in the garden and down the drain. The film includes footage of an interview Nilsen gave to ITV at Albany Prison in 1992, contributions from victims' families and insights from criminologist David Wilson, who corresponded with Nilsen over several decades. Narrated by David Tennant.

Cast & Crew

Narrator David Tennant
Director Iwan Roberts
Executive Producer Mike Blair
Producer Iwan Roberts