Scots TV drama on serial killer Peter Manuel gets government backing

The Scottish Government is to help bankroll a new TV drama inspired by one of the nation's most notorious serial killers.

Peter Manuel, the serial killer whose capture will be dramatised by a new TV show

Funding to the tune of £250,000 for a three-part ITV series on the killing spree of Peter Manuel was confirmed by culture secretary Fiona Hyslop on the opening day of the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Douglas Henshall, the star of crime drama Shetland, will portray the Lanarkshire detective William Muncie as he tries to bring Manuel - who will be played by fellow Scot Martin Compston - to justice.

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New York-born Manuel, who was dubbed “The Beast of Birkenshaw,” was hung at Barlinnie prison in Glasgow after being convicted of seven murders between 1956 and 1958.

Filming is due to get underway this month in Scotland on the series, provisionally named Muncie, which will also feature Scots actors Brian McCardie, Gary Lewis and Shauna Macdonald.

It is being supported by a new £1.75 million Production Growth Fund, which was instigated last year by the government and Creative Scotland to help secure major new films and TV series.

Earlier this year it emerged that it would be backing the sequel of Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting and a new biopic of Winston Churchill, which will see the iconic Prime Minister played by veteran Scots actor Brian Cox.

Speaking at a “screen summit” at the festival, Ms Hyslop revealed that a further £300,000 would be going towards a new paranomal horror film, Hush, which Calendar Girls star Celia Imrie is currently filming in Glasgow.

Imrie plays the owner of a haunted old foster home who brings in a pair of bogus ghostbusters who unwittingly unleash its terrifying past.

Ms Hyslop said: “We know that investment in screen can bring great rewards: more jobs, further growth, attract outside investment and ultimately bolster Scotland’s international reputation.

“Awards such as the Production Growth Fund are important because they anchor productions here.”