David Tennant stars as Dennis Nilson in gripping first-look trailer for ITV drama Des

Des follows the arrest and trial of serial killer Dennis Nilsen.

David Tennant stars in Des

ITV has released a first-look trailer for Des, an upcoming September drama starring David Tennant in the lead role.


The three-part series will follow the arrest and subsequent trial of serial killer Dennis Nilsen.

A gripping trailer has since been released showing how the story will be told from the perspective of three men: Dennis, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay (played by Daniel Mays) and biographer Brian Masters (Jason Watkins).

Peter and Brian will have to come to terms with meeting such a monster throughout the highly-anticipated series.

You can watch the harrowing trailer below:

The series has been based on true-crime book, Killing for Company by Brian Masters – which you can find on Amazon now.

However, it will also look at the police procedural behind the scenes and how the killer was locked up for his crimes.

Nilsen murdered at least 12 men between the years of 1978 and 1983 in London.

He was sentenced to life in prison on 4th November 1983 after being found guilty for six counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.

Nilsen operated from his two North London addresses, in which he would lure in his targets before brutally murdering them. He would then perform gruesome rituals on their bodies and eventually would dispose of the remains down his toilet.

His crimes went undetected until the police were called to reports of human fragments of flesh and bones clogging the drains.

He died in prison on 12th May 2018, aged 72.


ITV says of the new drama: “Des will explore how a man like Nilsen was able to prey on the young and vulnerable in 1980s Britain. The series will not only highlight the police investigation and trial but also the effect of the media coverage on public perceptions of the victims at the time, raising questions of just how far have we really come since then.”

Des is coming to ITV. You can buy Brian Masters’ original biography on Dennis Nilsen, Killing for Company, on Amazon. Find out what else to watch with our TV Guide.