Ruth Ellis story to be dramatised for ITV

Ruth Ellis story to be dramatised for ITV

Lucy BoyntonThe infamous real-life story of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain, is to be dramatised as a four-part series for ITV.

Lucy Boynton will play Ellis in the drama, that comes from writer Kelly Jones and ITV Studios prodco Silverprint Pictures.    

Jones’ scripts are based on Carol Ann Lee’s biography A Fine Day for Hanging: The Real Ruth Ellis Story.

Set in 1955, but told over two parallel timelines, the series reveals truths about the case which have remained hidden for decades, presenting questions about what really happened in the months before Ruth killed her lover David Blakely. 

The story follows Ellis as she moves from the glamorous world of managing a nightclub to the abusive relationship with the man she later shot, and explores her arrest, trial and her fruitless legal fight for reprieve.

Angie Daniell produces;  Lee Haven Jones directs all four episodes. Silverprint’s creative director, Kate Bartlett, will executive produce the series alongside Antonia Gordon, development director for Silverprint Pictures.

Ruth has been commissioned by ITV’s head of drama Polly Hill and drama commissioner, Huw Kennair Jones. The latter said: “There is so much more to the Ruth Ellis story than we think we know. Kelly’s scripts brilliantly explore not only how the emotional and physical abuse she suffered drove her to commit a terrible crime but also the desperate last-minute attempt to save her as she and her supporters battled an unforgiving Establishment.”

Boynton added: “Ruth Ellis’ story is a fascinating one. Both she and this complex case have always evoked a strong reaction, and with Kelly’s insightful scripts I’m looking forward to bringing a new perspective to both familiar audiences as well as those who are unaware of her mark on British history.”


Lucy Boynton image via Sasha Marro. 

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