The new drama White House Farm is nearly here, and looks at the horrific murders of five family members at their home in Essex in 1985. Ahead of the show, which will premiere on Wednesday night on ITV, find out everything you need to know here, from the cast to filming locations…
What happened to the Bamber family in real life?
In August 1985, Nevill and June Bamber, both 61, their daughter Sheila, and Sheila's six-year-old twin boys, Daniel and Nicholas, were all found dead at their Essex farmhouse. While Sheila was initially the prime suspect in the horrific murders, having a history of mental illness, her adoptive brother Jeremy Bamber was eventually convicted for the deaths.
Jeremy's ex-girlfriend informed the police that he had told her about his plans to kill his family members, and it was purported in court that he wanted to receive his large inheritance following the death. Along with other evidence, including that the gun that was used was too long for Sheila to have been able to reach the trigger, and that she had been shot twice, making the possibility of a suicide highly unlikely. The prosecution also stated that Jeremy's claims that his father had called him to say that Sheila had "gone berserk" were false, and he would have had no other way of knowing about the murders before calling the police unless he was there.
Where is Jeremy Bamber now?
Jeffrey, now 58, is serving a life prison sentence without the possibility of parole at HM Prison Wakefield, and is just one of 70 prisoners in the UK with a whole-life sentence. He has always denied the murders, and continues to protest his innocence to this day. He has twice attempted to recover a share from his family's estate unsuccessfully.
Where to watch White House Farm
White House Farm will premiere on ITV on Wednesday 8 January at 9pm, and will be available on ITV Catch-Up shortly after. The show is a six-part series, and will be released on consecutive Wednesdays.
Is there a trailer for White House Farm?
Yes and you can watch the ITV trailer here:
Who is in the cast of White House Farm?
The Three Musketeers' star Freddie Fox plays Jeremy Bamber, who was ultimately convicted of his family's murders. Speaking to the Huffington Post about his role, and whether he thinks Jeremy did commit the murders, he said: "It is not my place to do that. But obviously he is a psychologically interesting person who is both articulate, well-spoken, well-educated, determined and, quite possibly, manipulative. It was a very interesting balance to strike."
Sheila will be played by Cressida Bonas, who opened up about her role on Lorraine, saying: "I think back then mental illness was treated so differently to how it is now. And I think that's a really important thing to show, that how nowadays it wouldn't be treated like that. If this happened now, she wouldn't have been attacked like that for having a mental illness because now it's talked about in such a different way, and that's so shocking."
Meanwhile, Game of Thrones star Mark Addy plays DS Stan Jones, Line of Duty's Stephen Graham plays DCI Thomas ‘Taff’ Jones, Gemma Whelan plays Ann Eaton, Sheila and Jeremy's cousin, and Sanditon actor Mark Stanley plays Colin, Sheila's ex-husband.
What was the family's reaction to the TV show?
Colin Caffell, Sheila's ex-husband and the father of Daniel and Nicholas, gave permission for the TV show to be made, and gave Mark Stanley invaluable advice ahead of filming. Speaking to The Evening Standard about his role playing Colin, Mark said: "He gave me a few hours on the phone initially. He’s the bravest bloke I’ve ever met, he’s amazing. He allowed me to ask him about specific moments we knew we were going to see on screen. He was really generous with his recollection and experience of the time. Colin was really generous. He’s been so forthcoming throughout the project and him even giving it his blessing and everything I think was really important to everyone."