On: ITV3 (119)
Date: Wednesday 15th April 2009
Time: 21:00 to 23:10 (2 hours and 10 minutes long)
Marking the 20th anniversary of Hillsborough, this powerful docu-drama charts the stories of those touched by the worst disaster ever to hit British football, when 96 people lost their lives. The film follows three families, from their initial excitement at getting tickets for the game, to the disaster and the subsequent emotional and legal struggles. As the families try to come to terms with their losses and fight for justice, police evidence goes missing and further questions arise.
Starring: Christopher Eccleston, Ricky Tomlinson, Annabelle Apison, Rachel Davies, Mark Womack, Tracey Wilkinson
In 1994 the acclaimed Liverpudlian scriptwriter Jimmy McGovern used the disaster as a motivation for a serial killer (played by actor Robert Carlyle) in the plot of To Be A Somebody, the opening story of the second series of the crime drama Cracker. This led to complaints from victims' families. In response McGovern agreed to write a television drama about the disaster, which was screened in 1996 on the ITV television network in the United Kingdom. The 90-minute one-off drama-documentary recounted the events of the disaster.
Produced for the network by Granada Television and titled Hillsborough, the drama starred Christopher Eccleston as Trevor Hicks, whose story formed the focus of the script. Hicks lost two teenage daughters in the disaster and went on to campaign for safer stadiums, as well as helping form the Hillsborough Families Support Group. It drew much praise for its sensitive handling of the subject matter, paying homage to those killed and not exploiting them. The programme was repeated in 1998 but not released on video or DVD; it was repeated on ITV3 on the 20th anniversary of the disaster.