Nesbitt aware of `sensitivities’ of Colin Howell role

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As we exclusively revealed online last week Coleraine actor James Nesbitt will play the role of killer dentist Colin Howell in a three-part ITV drama.

‘The Secret’ to be produced by Hat Trick Productions, is based on a best-selling book, by veteran reporter Deric Henderson, and draws on primary source material.

Deric said: “It’s an extraordinary story, certainly the most remarkable I’ve ever covered in a long career.”

The drama will go into production in Northern Ireland in November with additional funding from Northern Ireland Screen.

Speaking last week, the Cold Feet star said the role was going to be a ‘huge challenge’.

Nesbitt, who won acclaim for his role as a grieving father in BBC One’s `The Missing’, is said to be concerned about the fact that he is playing a man whose children and family are still coming to terms with the murders which only emerged in 2009.

Howell and Buchanan met at their local Baptist Church in Coleraine and they embarked upon a passionate and destructive affair, which climaxed in an elaborate plot to kill both their partners, Lesley and Trevor. Howell finally confessed to the murders in 2009 following the death of his eldest son, Matthew, whose name his wife Lesley had called out as he gassed her.

Nesbitt’s agent Ian Johnston, said: “ITV have a track record of taking difficult subjects and complicated and sensitivities situations and making them into excellent dramas. This will be no exception and Jimmy is very aware of the pressures to do it right.”