David Tennant plays one of Britain’s worst serial killers in ‘Des’

David Tennant will portray one of Britain’s worst serial killers in the new three part TV series Des, which is coming to streaming service Stan this month.

In 1983 police arrested 47 year old Dennis Nilsen after a worker discovered human remains blocking the drainage pipes at his apartment. After finding more dismembered body parts in his residence police took him into custody with the office worker telling police he wanted to get it all off his chest. Police asked him if the body parts came from one or two bodies. They were shocked when he responded, ” Fifteen or sixteen, since 1978″.

Over a five year period Nilsen had been meeting is victims, who were mostly young gay men and getting them drunk. He would then suffocate his victims and often drown them as well. On many occasions he would have intercrural sex with their bodies. Surprisingly there were also seven people who had escaped from his lair, and some had even reported the incidents to police.

Speaking to UK newspaper The Mirror ahead of the TV series release Tennant said he was glad Nilsen, who died in 2018, was not around to see his life be put on the screen.

“I would hate for him to be sitting in a cell somewhere imagining that we were in any way glorifying him,” Tennant said.

“I’m sure he would have complained about everything but at the same time would have been rather smugly pleased that he was on television. So I think it’s right and proper that this is transmitting after he has gone.”

The series focuses on the police investigation after Nilsen’s arrest, and avoids recreating his horrific murders.  It’s not the first time Nilson’s macabre tale has been told on the screen. The 1989 film Cold Light of Day saw actor Bob Flag portray the serial killer.

Lookout for Des Stan from 15th September.  

OIP Staff


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