The Pembrokeshire Murders cast on why killer John Cooper's story HAD to be told for sake of victims' shaken families

THE Pembrokeshire Murders cast has revealed why killer John Cooper's story HAD to be told for the sake of his victims' shaken families.

The new ITV drama follows the real life case of Cooper, who committed two double murders in Pembrokeshire in the 1980s.

Keith Allen plays John Cooper in the drama, while Luke Evans plays the policeman who reopened the cold case and oversaw Cooper's eventual conviction for the crimes.

Cooper murdered siblings Richard and Helen Thomas in 1985 and then Peter and Gwenda Dixon four years later, and show bosses were keen to handle their stories as sensitively as possible out of respect for their surviving relatives and loved ones.

Actress Alexandria Riley, who plays Dr Ella Richards, said: "I think that that awareness of the weight of that responsibilty was there from day one and throughout.

"Everyone took on that responsibility together to ensure that we were as authentic, as sensitive, as respectful as we could possibly be all the way through."

Alexandria added that it helped to have the real life policeman, Steve Wilkins and journalist Jonathan Hill on set.

She said: "And, you know, having people like Jonathan and Steve and, and a number of the other members, whether they're still working or retired, it just always helped us out with that.

"And then being in the areas in which we were filming, a lot of the times we were filming very close to where awful things took place.

"And, the locals that we met and all the stories, you know, they're all still very shaken by it. So it really kept you focused. Not that I don't think we wouldn't have been anyway.

"But we were always very aware of how respectful and sensitive we had to be and I think it was handled and managed smoothly by the whole team."

Keith added of playing the serial killer who will still be very fresh in the memories of the people of Pembrokeshire: "What I really like about it is there is absolutely no, you know, there isn't a weird lighting, there is no weird sound effects.

"It is very, very, very realistic in your face to the point where we're really making you think that 'God is that what these people did', and I think both the victims, especially those, you know, those people that were young kids at the time, I think, when they see that I think there will be a sense that 'good, at least the world knows our suffering'.

"I think that is reason enough to make the programme, I personally don't have a problem with it, you know, and like I say, there was no glorification in any aspect of what went on in that case at all. You don't have to glorify things."

The Pembrokeshire Murders begins tonight at 9pm on ITV.

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