27/01/2017 14:30 GMT | Updated 27/01/2017 14:34 GMT

'Unforgotten' Writer Chris Lang Reveals Series 2 Inspired By 'Trauma Of Stuart Hall Case'

"What was it like for his friends, his family?"

The grim storyline behind hit crime drama ‘Unforgotten’ was inspired by the shocking real-life case of TV legend Stuart Hall, the writer has revealed.

Chris Lang’s second series, starring Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar, is keeping audiences glued to their seats, as detectives investigate the murder of victim David Walker, more than a decade after he was killed. As they pick apart the strands of his life, they discover his connections to a porn ring, and that he may have left a string of victims behind.

“I was watching the Stuart Hall story play out,” says Chris Lang. “He moved from vehement denial, insisting on never having done anything wrong.

“And then he did the volte-face, entering a ‘Guilty’ plea at the last minute. I was wondering, what must that be like for his colleagues, his friends, his family, having to make a complete reappraisal of the man they thought they knew. That was the germ of my story.”

Nicola Walker stars in 'Unforgotten', which follows the story of victim David Walker

In December 2012 and January 2013, Hall was charged with multiple sexual offences across a twenty-year period. Although he initially denied any wrongdoing, he pleaded guilty in April 2013 to having indecently assaulted13 girls, aged between 9 and 17 years old, between 1967 and 1986. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison, increased to 30 months on appeal, before two extra convictions brought another 30 months in prison. He was released in December 2015.

In ‘Unforgotten’, we meet a catalogue of people whose lives came into contact with David Walker, now professional, established figures. “Their professions were chosen very specifically,” explains Chris. “We have a nurse helping very sick patients, a teacher dedicated to troubled kids, a barrister doing a lot of pro bono work. These are caring people.”

For Chris, having the show’s viewers sharing their theories about who murdered David Walker, and why, is the reward for his hard work.

“I love reading the fans’ theories,” he reports. “Lots of people have told me, ‘It has to be Douglas Hodge, he’s too big a star to be in a supporting role’ and lots of people have got their eye on Wendy Craig for similar reasons.

“I’m saying now. I think my wife my know, but she may have forgotten, and I haven’t told anyone else, not my children, not my friends.”

With the success of both series, ITV bosses and fans will surely be clamouring for a third. Chris would be equally happy to continue his story with stars Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar.

“I love to do a third, but it’s ultimately the audience who decides. But yes, it’d be great to continue.”

‘Unforgotten’ continues on ITV on Thursdays at 9pm. 

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