The true crime drama, produced by Story Films, was also acquired by several broadcasters across Asia Pacific and Europe.
Leading independent distributor All3Media International has signed a raft of deals for Deceit, Story Films’ true crime drama. Broadcasters across Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America have secured the four-part drama, which launches on Channel 4 in the UK later this year.
Based on a true story, Deceit stars Niamh Algar (Raised by Wolves, Calm with Horses) as a female undercover officer asked to become bait in a dangerous honey trap. Eddie Marsan (Ray Donovan, Vice) Harry Treadaway (The Crown), Sion Daniel Young (Doc Martin), Rochenda Sandall (Line of Duty) and Nathaniel Martello-White (Collateral) also star in the true crime drama.
European broadcasters signing the drama include TV4 (Sweden), VRT (Belgium), NPO (Netherlands) and Nova TV (Greece), CMore (Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden) and BETV (French speaking Belgium). HBO Europe has acquired rights across multiple territories in Europe covering CEE and Iberia, and CANAL+ GROUP has acquired the series for French speaking Europe.
In the Asia Pacific region, rights to Deceit have been acquired by Stan (Australia), Sky Network (New Zealand) and Pumpkin Film (China). WarnerMedia Latin America has also signed a pan-regional deal for its premiere on HBO Max.
Deceit examines the controversial honeytrap at the heart of the high-pressure investigation into the devastating murder of Rachel Nickell, a young mother, brutally attacked in front of her two-year-old son on Wimbledon Common in London in 1992.
Fuelled by incessant media headlines and public interest, there is a climate of fear and a national obsession with catching the killer before he strikes again. The police are under enormous pressure and Criminal Profiler Paul Britton (Eddie Marsan) and Detective Inspector Keith Pedder (Harry Treadaway) devise a highly unique and dangerous undercover operation fronted by an ambitious female officer, Sadie Byrne (Niamh Algar).
Based on only circumstantial evidence she is tasked with forming a relationship with the prime suspect, a self-confessed lonely man who lives close to the scene of the crime by the name of Colin Stagg (Sion Daniel Young). If Sadie can win his trust they believe he may disclose his involvement in Rachel’s murder. Carefully guided by the criminal profiler, Sadie adopts the persona of “Lizzie James” a woman with a dark secret in her past and is tasked with becoming sexual bait to trap an innocent man. And so begins one of the most controversial operations in Met Police history. Also starring Rochenda Sandall and Nathaniel Martello-White.
David Swetman, SVP Scripted Content at All3Media International, commented: “With the incredible talents of Story Films and Emilia di Girolamo behind the camera and Niamh Algar in the lead role, Deceit is set to be a compelling, distinctive and sensitive exploration into one of the UK’s most controversial police investigations. By gaining access to previously unheard audio, video and written materials, the producers have been able to shine a brand-new light on this high-profile case and honey trap operation almost 30 years later. This was an investigation that made headlines around the world – and we know this four-part dramatization of those events is going to be a must-see in the international market.”