Brand-new ITV drama The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe will tell the shocking real-life story of John and Anne Darwin, and now we have our first look at the four-part series.


New images released by ITV reveal a wetsuit-clad Eddie Marsan as John, posing in front of his canoe, with a grey-haired Monica Dolan as his wife Anne.

Other images reveal the couple sat across from one another at a dinner table in Panama, and Dolan stood with Mark Stanley and Dominic Applewhite, who play Darwin's children. They appear to be at a seaside memorial for Darwin.

Eddie Marsan and Monica Dolan as John and Anne Darwin set opposite each other at a table in Panama
Eddie Marsan and Monica Dolan as John and Anne Darwin in Panama STORY FILMS (CANOE MAN LTD) FOR ITV

It was announced in April last year that the series was in the works, and would tell the story of John Darwin, a former teacher and prison officer who faked his own death in 2002.

It allowed Anne to collect his life insurance payout, and the pair were eventually exposed for the crime when he and his wife were pictured posing in a Panama real estate office – although the couple's children were both unaware their father was still alive.

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Anne and John went on to receive sentences of six years and served just under three years in prison for fraud.

Anne Darwin with her sons, all dressed in black with wreaths near the sea. (ITV)
Monica Dolan as Anne Darwin and her sons, played by Mark Stanley and Dominic Applewhite ITV

The series is written by Unforgotten creator Chris Lang, and is based on an unpublished manuscript by David Leigh, the first journalist who tracked down Anne as she was setting up the couple's new life in Panama.

At the time of his casting, Marsan said: "I’m so thrilled to be working with Chris Lang, one of our greatest writers and to get the chance to work with Monica Dolan."

Related: John and Anne Darwin’s son secretly watched new drama filming

The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe will air on ITV and ITV Hub in April 2022. Check out our Drama hub for more news, interviews and features or find something to watch with our TV guide.


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