Martin Clunes is to play the lead in a new ITV drama, Manhunt.


The show is based on the memoirs of DCI Sutton, the London Metropolitan Police detective who tenaciously pursued serial killer Levi Bellfield and connected the killing of Amelie Delagrange in 2004 with the murders of Marsha McDonnell and Milly Dowler – the schoolgirl who disappeared on her way home from school in 2002, prompting widespread media coverage.

Manhunt focusses on Sutton's investigation into the Delagrange murder on Twickenham Green and the way in which his incredibly detailed approach eventually led to the breakthrough connecting this case with the serial killer.

Bellfield was convicted of Amelie and Marsha's murders in 2008 before he was found guilty of Milly's killing in 2011. All three crimes took place in the same south-west area of London.

Surrey schoolgirl Amanda Jane "Milly" Dowler was 13 when she was reported missing in March 2002. Her remains were discovered in woods in Yateley, Hampshire, in September that year.

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Clunes first confirmed his new role – which he will begin filming in London next March – to on the red carpet of the National Lottery Awards.

"I don't think it's been announced yet but they've contracted it," he told us.

Clunes also confirmed that he would be starring as an MP in the upcoming ITV adaptation of Vanity Fair.

The period drama will be from Mammoth Screen – the producers behind Poldark and Victoria – and will be a collaboration between ITV and Amazon.

"There's a bit of carriage driving in it. He's a rural MP," Clunes said of his character. "It makes a change. It's not carrying it like Doc Martin, but it's nice enough," he laughed as he discussed the as-yet-unnamed role.

The keen horse enthusiast added: "There can't be many actors who can drive a carriage!"


The seven-part drama is to star Olivia Cooke and will be penned by Gwyneth Hughes, who wrote Dark Angel. James Strong, one of the directors of Broadchurch, will also be involved in the project.