Matthew Macfadyen and Keeley Hawes to star in John Stonehouse drama

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Matthew Macfadyen to star in real life drama series Stonehouse (c) Joss Barratt credit:Bang Showbiz
Matthew Macfadyen to star in real life drama series Stonehouse (c) Joss Barratt credit:Bang Showbiz

Real-life couple Matthew Macfadyen and Keeley Hawes are to play husband and wife in new ITV drama series ‘Stonehouse’.

The ‘Succession’ actor will take on the role of disgraced Labour minister John Stonehouse, and ‘It’s A Sin’ actress Keeley will play his wife Barbara in the three-part drama, which has been written by John Preston, and will be directed by Jon S. Baird.

It will be based on the life and times of Stonehouse, who was a high-flying member of Harold Wilson’s government but he disappeared without a trace from the beach of a luxury hotel in Florida in November 1974.

Matthew said: “What happened to John Stonehouse is the stuff of legend. I’ve always been intrigued by what motivated him to fake his own death, and leave behind the family he loved and doted upon and a promising political career.

"John Preston’s script truly captures the man and his colourful life and I’m looking forward to taking on his character."

Stonehouse, who was an MP for Walsall North, caused public outcry and shocked the media as he left behind his wife and his three children. It was presumed he had drowned or been eaten by sharks.

As the drama unfolds, it appears the image of the polished family man was just an illusion and it is revealed he was having an affair with his secretary.

His plans of starting up a new life in Australia came crashing down when he was arrested by the police, under the mistaken impression he was the fugitive Lord Lucan.

The drama will also include ‘Showtrial’ actor Emer Heatley, The Crown’s Kevin R McNally and ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ star Dorothy Atkinson.

Preston said: “I’ve always been fascinated by John Stonehouse. The story of how he faked his own death and tried to start a new life in Australia under an assumed name is one of the most bizarre true-life tales I’ve ever come across. I’m absolutely thrilled that it’s being brought to the screen with such an outstanding cast.”

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