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Is The Light in the Hall based on a true story? Here's what we know

The Channel 4 drama stars Joanna Scanlan and Iwan Rheon

light in the hall
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
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Channel 4's latest offering in the drama series department is The Light in the Hall. The show, which stars BAFTA-winning actress Joanna Scanlan and Game of Thrones star Iwan Rheon, tells the story of a grieving mother who endeavours to find out the truth behind her daughter Ela's disappearance 18 years ago.

But is the heart-wrenching story based on real life? Find out all the details on the show here…

WATCH: Joanna Scanlan stars in Channel 4's The Light in the Hall

What is The Light in the Hall about?

According to the Channel 4 synopsis, the show tells the story of Sharon Roberts who is still grieving her daughter Ela who disappeared nearly 20 years ago. The description continues: "Shortly after Ela's disappearance, Joe Thomas, a humble, quite gardener, was arrested and charged with her murder after Ela's DNA was discovered in his caravan.

"Joe confessed to the murder but refused, or could not explain why, or what he did with the body. Now Joe is being considered for parole and if he is released then Sharon's greatest fear may be realized; she will never get Ela's body back and the past will torment her the rest of her life."

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Alexandra Roach in a cafe in The Light in the Hall© Photo: Channel 4

Alexandra Roach appears in the drama

Elsewhere in the show, journalist Cat Donato is working on an in-depth article about Ela's murder and is also keen to find out the truth of what really happened.

Is The Light in the Hall based on a true story?

The gritty thriller series is not based on real life. The creator behind the show is Regina Moriarty, a scriptwriter who is also known for her work on Murdered By My Boyfriend.

Who stars in The Light in the Hall?

As mentioned, The Light in the Hall stars Joanna Scanlan in the leading role as Ela's mother, Sharon. Viewers will recognise Joanna thanks to her roles in The Thick of It, No Offence, The Larkins and After Love.

Joanna Scanlan as Sharon in The Light in the Hall© Photo: Channel 4

Joanna Scanlan leads the cast

Elsewhere, Joe Thomas is played by Game of Thrones actor Iwan Rheon, the Welsh actor is also known for his work on Channel 4's fantasy-comedy series Misfits. Journalist Cat Donato is played by Alexandra Roach, who is known for her work in Inside No. 9, Killing Eve and Black Mirror.

What are fans saying about The Light in the Hall?

The Light in the Hall has sparked plenty of reaction online and it seems it's gone down a treat with viewers. One person wrote on Twitter: "Watching #TheLightInTheHall. We love Joanna Scanlan, and Iwan Rheon is in this too - win, win!" while another added: "Joanna Scanlan is so good. Just know anything with her in it is going to be good. #TheLightInTheHall."

A third said: "Wow. The twists and turns were REAL in that last episode and I loved every second of it. BAFTAs all round is definitely in order!" 

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