ITV’s latest true crime drama The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe is just one of the new shows airing over the Easter weekend, featuring an all-star cast including Monica Dolan and Eddie Marsan.


Written by Unforgotten’s Chris Lang, the series tells the true story behind former prison officer John Darwin, who was convicted of fraud alongside his wife in 2008 for faking his own death and claiming life insurance money.

Here’s everything you need to know about the cast of The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe.

Monica Dolan plays Anne Darwin

Anne Darwin and Monica Dolan as Anne Darwin
Anne Darwin and Monica Dolan as Anne Darwin Getty/ITV

Who is Anne Darwin? Anne Darwin is the ex-wife of John Darwin, who faked his own death in 2002. She went along with the plan, claimed for life insurance and told their two sons that their father was dead. She was arrested in 2007 after police became suspicious of her travel movements (since she had been visiting John in Panama) and sentenced to six years in prison.

Where have I seen Monica Dolan before? BAFTA-winning actress Monica Dolan has starred in shows like Appropriate Adult, Black Mirror, Inside No. 9, A Very English Scandal, W1A, DCI Banks: Aftermath and Agatha Christie's Poirot. She has also appeared in The Dig, Official Secrets, Vanity Fair, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, and Kick-Ass 2.

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Eddie Marsan plays John Darwin

John Darwin and Eddie Marsan
John Darwin and Eddie Marsan as John Darwin Getty/ITV

Who is John Darwin? John Darwin is a former teacher and prison officer who faked his own death in 2002 after amassing over £700,000 in debt. He convinced people that he had taken his canoe out on the North Sea and drowned, allowing his wife to claim for life insurance. Both John and Anne Darwin were arrested in 2007 and found guilty of fraud in 2008, being sentenced to more than six years in prison each.

Where have I seen Eddie Marsan before? Eddie Marsan is best known for his roles in films like Happy-Go-Lucky, The World's End, Hobbs & Shaw, Vice, Deadpool 2, Atomic Blonde, War Horse and Sherlock Holmes. He has also appeared in Ray Donovan, Ridley Road, The Pact, Law & Order: UK, Silent Witness and Deceit.

Mark Stanley plays Mark Darwin

Mark Darwin and Mark Stanley as Mark Darwin
Mark Darwin and Mark Stanley as Mark Darwin Getty/ITV

Who is Mark Darwin? Mark Darwin is the son of John and Anne Darwin. He did not know that his father had actually faked his own death.

Where have I seen Mark Stanley before? Mark Stanley is best known for playing Grenn in Game of Thrones and for his appearances in Dickensian, Broken, Criminal: UK, White House Farm, Sanditon, Anne Boleyn, The Bay, Trigger Point, Run and Hellboy.

Dominic Applewhite plays Anthony Darwin

Anthony Darwin and Dominic Applewhite as Anthony Darwin
Anthony Darwin and Dominic Applewhite as Anthony Darwin Getty/ITV

Who is Anthony Darwin? Anthony Darwin is the son of John and Anne Darwin, who along with his brother, did not know his father wasn't actually dead.

Where have I seen Dominic Applewhite before? Dominic Applewhite has appeared in The Inbetweeners, The Crown, Sex Education and Postcode.

David Fynn plays Dave Leigh

DAVID FYNN as Dave Leigh.

Who is Dave Leigh? David Leigh is a journalist who was the Miami bureau chief of Splash News when he discovered Anne Darwin in Panama in 2007 and secured an interview with her after John Darwin gave himself up to the police in the UK.

Where have I seen David Fynn before? David Fynn has appeared in The Mauritanian, The Pembrokeshire Murders, Vanity Fair, Undateable, Sherlock, Black Mirror and Doctor Who.

Francesca Knight plays Flick

Francesca Knight as Flick

Who is Flick? Flick is Mark Darwin's girlfriend.

Where have I seen Francesca Knight before? Francesca Knight has appeared in The League of Gentlemen, The Outlaws, The Girl Before and The Suspect.

Andrew Lancel plays DS Paul Sampson

ANDREW LANCEL as D.S. Paul Sampson.

Who is DS Paul Sampson? DS Paul Sampson is a police officer who questions John Darwin.

Where have I seen Andrew Lancel before? Andrew Lancel has appeared in The Bill, Cardiac Arrest, Coronation Street and Bad Girls.

Karl Pilkington plays DC Phil Bayley


Who is DC Phil Bayley? DC Phil Bayley is a police officer who questions John Darwin.

Where have I seen Karl Pilkington before? Karl Pilkington is a comedian and actor who rose to fame after producing Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's XFM radio show before becoming a co-host of The Ricky Gervais Show. He went on to host An Idiot Abroad, The Moaning of Life and act in Derek and Sick of It.

Read more of our The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe coverage:

The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe will start 9pm on 17th April on ITV and ITV Hub. If you’re looking for more to watch, take a look at the rest of our Drama coverage, or check out our TV Guide.


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