TV One to Air Controversial Drama

TV One will screen a true-crime British drama that the UK government wants investigated.

The Secret, which premieres on June 15, stars James Nesbitt as a Belfast dentist whose affair with a Sunday school teacher led to his wife’s demise.

According to The Guardian, Prime Minister David Cameron has asked Culture Secretary John Whittingdale to investigate if the ITV drama was made without the family’s permission.

“The case of Lauren Bradford was raised during prime minister’s questions by her MP, Labour’s Louise Haigh, who said her constituent was powerless to stop the making of the show, which uses the real names of both her mother and the family.”

In a statement, ITV said it has “a proud record of broadcasting award-winning factual dramas, based on or representing real events and people …

“We do believe that we have conducted the making and broadcast of this series responsibly, in seeking to minimise distress to family members, in so far as we were able to do so, given the subject matter.”

The Daily Express reported viewers took to Twitter “in droves” to commend Nesbitt’s performance, with the star telling the Mirror the events happened in his home town.

Agreed The Telegraph: “Nesbitt (an actor far more versatile than casting directors sometimes give him credit for) offered a masterclass in the kind of overconfident, small-town charm that falls well short of charisma. He was credibly creepy from the start …

“But the real achievement of Stuart Urban’s superb script was in capturing the weird balance of religious devotion and sexual obsession … As a study of mutually reinforced delusion The Secret was masterly.

“By episode’s end, anyone unfamiliar with the real-life case will have been left in just enough appalled anticipation as to where it could lead.”

ITV screened The Secret in three weekly one-hour instalments; TV One will air it in two movie-length instalments.

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