A string of local actors starred in the new documentary drama recounting the murders of Britain’s most prolific and notorious killers.
The Channel 5 programme Fred and Rose cast five actors from Hebden Bridge’s North of Watford agency.
Hebden Bridge residents Dan Carey and Lisa Allen play Fred West and the ‘older’ Rose West and Sowerby Bridge resident and actor Victoria Wickham stars as Heather West. The acting agency’s Lara Bradban and Sarah Emmott play victims Rene Costello and Anne-Marie West.
Two decades ago, in 1994, the couple appeared at Gloucester Magistrates’ Court charged with ten counts of murder of children and young women.
Last Thursday (November 6) at 10pm, the first of the three part series, which documents exclusive interviews with one of the Wests’ early victims Caroline Roberts, family members, and others who knew the couple and reconstructs the sinister developments between the evil lovers, opened with their chance meeting at a Cheltenham bus stop in the late 1960s when she was aged 15 and he 27.
The programme explores whether the couple’s abusive behaviour was rooted in their childhoods.
Last week, Roberts told the Daily Mail about how she was abducted and raped by the Wests’ after going to work for them as a nanny in their Gloucester home, aged 17, in 1972.
Series producer and director Robin Anderson, said: “The series is a mixture of new material - a witness revealed that West was ran out of town by Glasgow’s feared razor gang for his known paedophilia.”
Dan Carey and Lisa Allen were cast due to their profile and their competent Gloucestershire accents, he said.
Radio Times’ review reported the “ghoulish fascination surrounding 25 Cromwell Street has never really abated.”
Interview with the actors:
Lisa Allen plays the older Rose West in Fred and Rose.
She said: “It’s hard to believe that it is the 20th anniversary. Dan and I lived in the area at the time. This is the first in depth look at the childhoods of both Fred and Rose. Working on the programme did not impact on me personally, I am an actress and trained to play a role. It did, however remind me of the how the survivors and families live with this daily.”
Actor Dan Carey plays Fred West. He said: “The scene with Victoria (Heather West) was one of the most difficult scenes in terms of the place I had to go in my head. I was constantly aware of the victims.”
Sowerby Bridge actress and former Ryburn Valley High student Victoria Wickham, 26, debuts in her first TV role as daughter Heather West. She said: “It was a challenge as the role involves the horrific experiences of a real person. Heather’s character was strong and defiant right up until the end.” Victoria appears in next week’s part two of the three part series.