All you need to know about crime drama inspired by serial killer Dennis Nilsen

The wait is almost over for the highly-anticipated true crime drama series Des.

Starring Doctor Who ’s David Tennant, it takes a closer look at the crimes and conviction of sadistic serial killer Dennis Nilsen.

Nilsen is one of the UK’s most notorious killers, murdering at least 12 men in London during the 70s and 80s.

The true crime drama is based on the book Killing for Company by Brian Masters, published in 1985.

It stars David Tennant as the serial killer, Code 404’s Daniel Mays as Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay, and The Crown’s Jason Watkins as biographer Brian.

When does Des air?

Des starts on Monday, September 14 at 9pm on ITV.

There will be three one-hour long episodes, over three consecutive nights.

This means it will conclude on Wednesday, September 16.

You can watch Des as it airs on ITV, or you will be able to stream live via the ITV Hub.

What is Des about?

The three-part drama tells the story of one of the most infamous criminal cases in UK history – Dennis Nilsen.

The series tells his story, but also delves into the police investigation and the media coverage of his trial.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Nilsen murdered at least 12 men in London.

They were mostly homeless homosexuals, or men living off the grid.

The serial killer would often hide their bodies in his home, but he went undetected for several years.

He was finally arrested following reports of human fragments of flesh and bones clogging the drains.

After his arrest, he confessed to his crimes, but he didn’t remember their names.

This led to a big police investigation in order to find out the identities of the victims.

The story is told through the prism of three different men – Nilsen himself, Chief Inspector Peter Jay, and biographer Brian Masters.

ITV says the series explores the personal and professional consequences of coming into contact with a man like Nilsen.

ITV said: “Des will explore how a man like Nilsen was able to prey on the young and vulnerable in 1980s Britain.

“The series will not only highlight the police investigation and trial but also the effect of the media coverage on public perceptions of the victims at the time, raising questions of just how far have we really come since then.”

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