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David Tennant terrifies fans as Dennis Nilsen in new Des trailer

Des will be released later this year - will you be watching? 


david tennant© Photo: ITV
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
August 24, 2020
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David Tennant is set to play the notorious serial killer Dennis Nilsen in the new ITV show Des, and a new trailer shows him in the role for the first time.

READ: Will David Tennant return for Criminal season two?

In the preview, which also stars Daniel Mays and Jason Watkins, the pair can be heard interviewing Dennis, who admits that he has killed "15 or 16" people in his life, adding: "I look in the mirror and I just see me, friendly, helpful, responsible me." The trailer also looks at Brian Masters' (Jason Watkins) fascination with the serial killer, shaking his hand upon meeting him. 

WATCH: David Tennant stars as notorious serial killer Dennis Nilsen in Des

Speaking about David playing the role of Dennis, ITV's Head of Drama Polly Hill said: "David Tennant is going to be brilliant as Dennis Nilsen and with Daniel Mays as Jay and Jason Watkins as Brian, this has an incredible cast to bring this story to screen and we are delighted to be making this with New Pictures for ITV." 

des image© Photo: ITV

Jason Watkins stars opposite David as Brian Masters

Executive Producer for New Pictures, Kim Varvell, added: "Dennis Nilsen’s crimes shocked the nation in the early 1980s. Our programme focuses on the emotional impact of those terrible crimes, both on those who came into contact with Nilsen himself, and also on the victims’ families." 

david as dennis© Photo: ITV

ITV recreated Dennis' arrest for the new ITV drama

The show will be based on the book Killing for Company by Brian Masters, focusing on the victims of Dennis, who is thought to have murdered up to 15 boys and young men in his flat from 1978 to 1983, luring them with offers of food, alcohol or board before killing them. 

READ: David Tennant announces exciting news - and fans are thrilled!

des dennis© Photo: ITV

Dennis was arrested in 1983 and admitted to murdering multiple people 

The serial killer eluded police for years before he was eventually caught by DCI Peter Jay in 1983, and he was eventually convicted for six murders and two attempted murders. He was sentenced to life imprisonment before dying from a blood clot following a surgery complication in 2018 aged 72. 

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