The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe | Preview (ITV)

Renowned actors, Monica Dolan and Eddie Marsan, play Anne and John Darwin in the extraordinary and compelling ITV drama, The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe.



The real life story of how John Darwin, played by BIFA winner Eddie Marsan (Ray Donovan, Sherlock Holmes, Happy Go Lucky) faked his own death to claim life insurance and avoid bankruptcy is written by acclaimed screenwriter Chris Lang.



The drama focuses on how Anne Darwi, became complicit in her husband’s deception as she started to convince the world, their family and friends, the police and insurance companies, that he had gone missing in 2002 whilst canoeing off the coast of Seaton Carew in Cleveland, where the couple owned two large houses with panoramic views of the sea.


The deception was to take its toll on Anne who lied to their sons, Mark and Anthony, for five years whilst her husband, in the early days of the fraud, secretly lived in a bedsit next door to the home he shared with Anne. Devastated by the loss of their father, neither son had an inkling their parents were capable of such treachery.




Anne and John Darwin eventually decided to leave Seaton Carew and move to Panama City to start a new life together before their secret was exposed by the discovery of an infamous photo of them posing in a Panama real estate office in July 2006.


At her trial Anne Darwin pleaded not guilty, arguing that she had been coerced into the plot by her husband, but the jury didn’t believe her. She and her husband were both jailed for more than 6 years.



They were joined by the celebrated screenwriter of Unforgotten and Innocent Chris Lang (The Hookup Plan, Dark Heart, A Mother’s Son) who also executive produces the four part series. BAFTA winning director, Richard Laxton, (Honour, Mrs Wilson, Mum) directs each of the four episodes.


The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe was inspired by a memoir written by journalist David Leigh who was the first journalist to track down Anne as she was on the verge of setting up a new life in Panama.


Monica Dolan and Eddie Marsan are joined in the cast by Mark Stanley (White House Farm), Dominic Applewhite, and Karl Pilkington (Sick of It, Derek).



The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe begins Sunday 17th April at 9pm on ITV.