Murder victims' daughter will meet Culture Secretary to air concern over TV drama

THE daughter of a murder victim whose violent death has being dramatised for a TV series has been offered support by the Prime Minister.

Labour MP for Sheffield Heeley, Louise Haigh

Lauren Bradford, who lives in Sheffield, has told of how the Northern Irish ITV mini-series the Secret has already been aired despite resistance from her family.

Her MP Louise Haigh, who represents Sheffield Heeley, has now secured a meeting with the Culture Secretary to discuss the matter after David Cameron said he would intervene.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Labour MP said: “I don’t think anyone can imagine the pain and suffering they have had to endure, but they have now had to relieve this pain because ITV are dramatizing the whole ordeal completely against their wishes using not only the real names of her family but also her own.”

ITV series The Secret. Murderer Colin Howell played by actor James Nesbitt.

Lauren’s mother Lesley Howell was killed in 1991 by her father Colin, a dentist, played in the series by actor James Nesbitt.

Ms Haigh said that that while ITV and OFCOM have not broken any rules, she said victims should have a far greater role in any accounting of their tragedy.

The Prime Minister said: “What I will do is discuss this case with the Culture Secretary and bring it to his attention and see if there is anything other than the conversations she has already had with ITV and OfCom which is a powerful regulator and see what more can be done”

Culture Secretary John Whittingdale has now agreed to meet Lauren to discuss the issues surrounding their airing of the TV show.

ITV series The Secret. Murderer Colin Howell played by actor James Nesbitt.

An ITV spokesperson said: “We have never suggested that they approved or authorised the drama.

“We do believe that we have conducted the making and broadcast of this series responsibly, in seeking to minimise distress to family members, in so far as we were able to do so, given the subject matter.”