Featuring emotional contributions from the families of those who lost their lives, Worlds Collide: The Manchester Bombing marks the fifth anniversary of an attack that shocked the nation to its core.
The two-part special uses new revelations to piece together the chilling timeline of that day and explores how, five years on, the truth of what happened that night is finally emerging.
On 22nd May 2017, a British-born terrorist detonated a home-made bomb in the foyer of the Manchester Arena, killing twenty-two people and wounding hundreds more.
In-line with the on-going public inquiry, two special films airing across two nights on ITV and made by Label1, the makers of twice BAFTA nominated and RTS Award winning series Hospital, reveal how multiple opportunities to stop the bomber in his tracks were tragically missed.
The films present two polarising worlds that tragically collided, one of innocent young fans attending a concert by American pop superstar Ariana Grande and the other of a radical Islamic extremist who had grown up just miles from his eventual victims.
Providing wider context to the attack, the programmes delve into the role of MI5 and the emergency services, hearing directly from those there on the night and examining why decisions taken left victims helpless inside.
Revealing CCTV footage of the suicide bomber follows his steps in the days, hours and minutes leading to the attacks, as family and friends of the victims recall their stories and how one night changed their lives forever.
In programme one, we showcase two worlds colliding, with a countdown of the hours leading up to the bombing and a story that begins nearly a quarter of a century earlier.
We reach back more than two decades to when the bomber’s family first came to Manchester and interweave the childhood of Salman and Hashem Abedi and that of their victims, contrasting their respective upbringings.
We also reveal how the public inquiry has found that numerous opportunities were missed to stop the bomber from carrying out his attack, both on the night itself, and before.
The failings of MI5 are analysed, as Lord David Anderson, who was tasked by the Government to conduct an independent review of MI5 and counter-terror policing in the wake of the attack states: “Some important intelligence on Abedi linking him to terrorism was missed early in 2017. MI5 interpreted that intelligence as relating to ordinary crime. With hindsight, it’s pretty obvious that that intelligence related to a developing terrorist plot.”
“It’s all about setting trip wires, trying to work out which of those former subjects of interest might be likely to re-engage. That’s the trickiest thing of all in what MI5 do”.
The programme hears the powerful, personal stories of those directly impacted by the attack. Paul Swaine, friend of Martyn Hett recalls, “Martyn would make you feel like you were the only person in the room. He cared, he looked after people, he was going to be a friend for life.”
Worlds Collide: The Manchester Bombing begins Monday 11th April on ITV.