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The harrowing true stories behind new drama Four Lives

Stephen Merchant and Sheridan Smith are leading the cast

four lives bbc
Francesca Shillcock
Francesca ShillcockSenior TV & Film Writer
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Four Lives is finally set to air on BBC after a long wait, and will see The Outlaws and The Office star Stephen Merchant lead the cast alongside Sheridan Smith, Samuel Barnett and Rufus Jones. But what is the show about? Find out about the plot and the harrowing true stories behind Four Lives here…

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What is Four Lives about?

Four Lives tells the story of four men who were tragically killed by murderer Stephen Port. Episode one outlines the first part of the tragic tale after two bodies are discovered.

WATCH: Four Lives on BBC - official trailer

Despite authorities ruling the cause of deaths as overdoes, the families of the men are not convinced and begin to undertake their own investigation. Suddenly, another two bodies are then discovered in similar circumstances, as the police investigation attempts to join the dots.   

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sheridan smith© Photo: BBC

Sheridan Smith stars in the cast

What are the true stories behind Four Lives?

As many might remember from the news reports at the time, Stephen Port was dubbed the so-called 'Grindr killer' after taking the lives of four young men over the course of a 16-month period between 2014 and 2015.

The men he murdered were: Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor by administering them the GHB drug. Initially, the deaths were not ruled as suspicious until weeks after the fourth death.

stephen merchant© Photo: BBC

Stephen Merchant as killer Stephen Port

Four Lives was originally meant to air in 2020, however, an inquest into the Metropolitan Police's investigation into the killer's crimes caused a delay. As recently as this month, the inquest jury declared that there had been "fundamental failings" in the handling of the murders.

Who stars in Four Lives?

As mentioned, Stephen Merchant is taking on the lead role as killer Stephen Port. Sheridan Smith, who is also known for roles in Two Pints and Gavin and Stacey, will be portraying Sarah Sak, the mother of Anthony Walgate, who was sadly killed.

four lives sheridan

There is a very impressive cast

Also appearing in the cast is Jaime Winstone, Rufus Jones, Samuel Barnett, Daniel Ryan and Stephanie Hyam. Portraying the four men are Tim Preston, Jakub Svec, Leo Flanagan and Paddy Rowan.

When is Four Lives released?

It was previously announced that three-part series Four Lives would premiere on BBC One on Monday 3 January at 9pm. The drama will then air the following two episodes over consecutive nights. 

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