ITV casts Eddie Marsan as canoe accident cheater John Darwin, who faked his own death for insurance money

ITV has cast Eddie Marsan as canoe accident cheater John Darwin in a new drama.

The former teacher faked his death for insurance money and the thief, wife and canoe will tell his shocking story.

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Eddie Marsan was cast as canoeist John Darwin in a new ITV dramaPhoto credit: Getty

Alongside Eddie, actress Monica Dolan will play John’s wife Anne, who helped deceive her husband when she started convincing the world, her family and friends, the police and insurance companies that he was canoeing up north in 2002 the east coast was gone.

Chris Lang, who wrote another ITV drama Unforgotten, has already written the four-part series and said, “I’m really excited to work with two of the best actors of their generation.

“I’ve admired them both from afar for many years (though not in a creepy way) and can’t wait to see them bring Anne and John Darwin to life.”

Filming for the show began in Hartlepool and Chris has previously shown how much he enjoyed writing the series.

John faked his own death to try to get insurance money

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John faked his own death to try to get insurance moneyPhoto credit: PA: Press AssociationThe new series will mainly focus on John's wife, Anne

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The new series will mainly focus on John’s wife, AnnePhoto credit: The Mega AgencyMonica Dolan will play Anne

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Monica Dolan will play AnnePhoto credit: Getty

He shared: “If I had tried to sell this project as an original story, it would never have got further than the pitch.

“‘It’s just too far-fetched,’ Chris, nobody would ever believe any of this could actually have happened, ‘except for it. All of that. And I loved writing every single word.”

ITV Director of Drama Polly Hill added, “This is an extraordinary story of deception in an ordinary family. Chris has written brilliant scripts about the heartbreaking cost of this elaborate lie.

“I’m very excited to be working again with Richard Laxton and Dave Nath and Story Films’ first drama for ITV.”

Anne convinced her family and friends that John had died, including her children

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Anne convinced her family and friends that John had died, including her childrenPhoto credit: The Mega Agency

John faked his death in 2002 and was helped by his wife Anne to keep it a secret.

The couple was caught trying to escape to Panama by a real estate agent who photographed them together in 2007.

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The couple were caught trying to escape to Panama

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The couple were caught trying to escape to PanamaPhoto credit: The Mega Agency

This would be crucial evidence of their trial as John and Anne were charged with fraud and sentenced to six years in prison in July 2008.

The series pays special attention to how Anne kept her husband hidden and how she convinced her family, even her own sons and friends, that John disappeared off the coast of Seaton Carew, County Durham.

The couple struggled financially as they couldn’t pay their mortgage and had £ 64,000 in credit card debt.

Anne joined John’s insane scheme, although she would have preferred if her husband had just filed for bankruptcy and told everyone the truth.

Anne Darwin made her first TV appearance on This Morning

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