New BBC drama Steeltown Murders is based on the real-life manhunt which took place to catch the killer of three young women in the Port Talbot area and the remarkable story of how the mystery was solved almost 30 years later using pioneering DNA evidence.


Philip Glenister and Steffan Rhodri lead the cast as DCI Paul Bethell and Phil ‘Bach’ Rees, and Glenister has said that viewers can expect to see a "real, "traumatic" retelling of the story.

Glenister said: "When it’s based on something that is real and so traumatic because it involves three teenage girls, and having daughters myself, it hits you. It’s unimaginable what the families have gone through.

"I haven’t sort of looked at it as a thriller – to me, it’s more a drama-documentary that we are making. You want it to be entertaining, educational and informative, all the things you want in a good drama. So, hopefully we have done it justice."

Phil Rees (Steffan Rhodri) and DCI Paul Bethall (Philip Glenister) in Steeltown Murders
Phil Rees (Steffan Rhodri) and DCI Paul Bethall (Philip Glenister) in Steeltown Murders. BBC/Severn Screen/Tom Jackson

The four-part series is set over two time periods, and all four episodes will be available on BBC iPlayer after the first has aired on 15th May.

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Glenister said he was attracted to the series because of the "very, very powerful" writing, adding that "there were a number of reasons but that’s the main one".

He continued: "Amongst other things, I wanted to work with [director] Marc Evans because I think he is fabulous. And I wanted to check out the Welsh side of me because I am half Welsh, my parents live in Wales."

Glenister is best-known for his work playing DCI Gene Hunt in both Life on Mars and sequel series Ashes to Ashes, while his co-star Rhodri is known for playing Dave Coaches in Gavin & Stacey and Reg Cattermole in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.

Steeltown Murders airs at 9pm on Monday 15th May on BBC One. Visit our Drama hub for more news, interviews and features, or find something to watch now with our TV Guide and Streaming Guide.


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