TV drama tells the story of Karen Matthews’ deceit

TV drama tells the story of Karen Matthews’ deceit

THE BBC TV drama depicting the disappearance of Dewsbury Moor youngster Shannon Matthews will be aired next week.

The Moorside, which features Cilla star Sheridan Smith, tells the story of how the nine-year-old disappeared from the Moorside estate in February, 2008.

Smith stars as Julie Bushby, while Game of Thrones actor Gemma Whelan takes the role of Karen Matthews, and Sherlock star Sian Brooke will play Natalie Brown.

The BBC said: “Following the disappearance of nine-year-old Shannon, the police and community mount a frantic search.

“Despite their efforts, no trace of her can be found and within a few hours the police investigation takes on the scale of a murder enquiry.

“Emotional public appeals for information from her mother Karen Matthews amount to nothing, and the community, led by Julie Bushby, stand by her and make extraordinary efforts of their own to find Shannon.

“Despite the support, doubts are beginning to creep in for some regarding Karen’s behaviour.

“Friend and neighbour Natalie struggles with her conscience as she becomes convinced that Karen knows more than she is revealing.

“Just as all hope is close to fading, Shannon is found alive.

“The wild celebrations of Julie and the community are rapidly cut short when they learn that Shannon was being held by a man known to Karen.”

The drama follows a documentary shown on the Investigation Discovery channel last month about Shannon’s disappearance called “Faking it: Tears of a Crime”.

Matthews made several TV appeals for her daughter which led to a £50,000 reward for her safe return.

Shannon was discovered less than a month after she was taken at a flat in Batley Carr, which was occupied by Michael Donovan, the uncle of Craig Meehan, who was Karen’s boyfriend.

Both Karen Matthews and Donovan were charged with Shannon’s kidnap, her false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice.

Both were found guilty at Leeds Crown Court and both were jailed for  years.

• The Moorside is on BBC One on Tuesday (9pm).

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