THE story of the mystery disappearance of Huddersfield back- packer Peter Falconio in Australia's Outback is to be turned into a TV film.

Peter, from Hepworth, is believed to have been killed on a lonely stretch of highway north of Australia's central city of Alice Springs on July 14, 2001.

Peter, 28, and his girlfriend Joanne Lees, formerly of Almondbury, had stopped their camper van to talk to a motorist who flagged them down.

Joanne, who now lives in Brighton, was tied up and dumped in the attacker's pick-up truck but managed to escape and alert the authorities.

Peter's body has never been found.

The man accused of killing him, 45-year-old Bradley John Murdoch, is currently awaiting trial.

Neradine Tisaj, a spokeswoman for Australia's Ten TV network, said Australian- based production company Screentime had been commissioned to make the film, and London-based international distributor Power Television would also be involved.

The drama, which is expected to be filmed next year, will be based on the soon to be released novel - And Then The Darkness - by Australian journalist Sue Williams.

The TV film is not linked to the horror movie Wolf Creek - loosely based on Peter's story - which was released in cinemas in Australia and the United States.

Wolf Creek merges parts of the story with that of serial killer Ivan Milat, whose seven victims were found in shallow graves in a forest near Sydney between 1992 and 1993.