TV drama charts murder of Huddersfield woman by Suffolk Strangler
Apr 24 2010 Huddersfield Daily Examiner
While some of the victims’ relatives were quoted as being “angry and disgusted” at the BBC for dramatising events, many others cooperated as paid script consultants and, producers say, are “proud” of what Five Daughters achieves.
The first episode opens with journalists hectoring detectives in a police press conference, and there’s a clear intention to redress what some saw as insensitive tabloid coverage.
Winstone says it was “arrogant” of the media to label the women as prostitutes.
“It’s the easy route to dismiss them and go, ’Oh, these girls broke the law, they were drug addicts, why should we be concerned?” she says.
“But actually these girls had lives. It was just ignorance; it made me very angry. They were blissfully unaware of what sort of dangers they were in.
“These were young women; they were daughters of people. That’s why I wanted to keep detached from the press side of it. I just wanted to keep it about Anneli and be truthful to it.”
But Winstone admits the role of Anneli was a great one.
“There are moments where you selfishly think, ‘it’s a great part for an actress to be given that material’,” confesses the 24-year-old.
“The first time I read the script I was powerfully moved but also thought, ‘Can I do this? Is it right to do this?’
“One of the hardest scenes was when Anneli was dead and I could actually just hear the mum’s cries. That to me was just like, ‘I don’t want to do it any more. I’m actually doing damage’.
“You feel really upset and a bit twisted – but then you realise you’re doing some sort of justice and that’s why you’re doing it in the first place.”
Many will remember the haunting CCTV footage, released by police, of Alderton on a train shortly before she was killed.
It was a sight that stuck with Winstone, who says recreating those moments brought Alderton’s tragedy crashing home to her.
“That last CCTV footage had a really big impact on a lot of people and I just burst into tears,” she says.
“It was hard to let it go. I’d go home , be quite upset about it. It was weird territory.”