The family of Karen Matthews are furious over Tuesday's TV drama about the fake kidnap of her daughter Shannon.
Relatives of Matthews – dubbed Britain’s most hated mum after the phoney abduction – claim they weren’t consulted about the BBC1 show .
The Sunday People understands that the family disowned the mother-of-seven after her cruel crime was exposed and have had virtually no contact since she was jailed.
Now they fear the two-part drama starring Sheridan Smith will dredge up all the ill-feeling and heartache which tore them apart.
Revealing the bitter rift in the family, one relative told us: “I have walked on better stuff than Karen.”
BBC bosses think the agonising story of schoolgirl Shannon’s disappearance and the people involved nine years ago will make compulsive viewing.
But two family members, who asked not to be named, have revealed their anger.
One said: “We just want it all to stop before it comes up on the screen. We just want to be left alone.”
They said they hadn’t been contacted by anyone from the makers.
The family is worried that their name will once again be dragged through the mud when the programme is screened.
They have talked about contacting a solicitor to try to stop the show, which starts on Tuesday night.
Members of the family don’t know if they will feature in the programme or how they will be portrayed.
The show is called The Moorside after the housing estate in Dewsbury, West Yorks, where the real-life drama unfolded in February 2008.
A huge police operation was launched when nine-year-old Shannon failed to return home from a school swimming trip.
Matthews, now 41, made emotional TV appeals for the return of her daughter which led to a £50,000 reward being put up.
The local community pulled together to raise publicity in the desperate search for the youngster.
But after almost a month the charade began to fall apart and Matthews confessed she had arranged for her daughter to be kidnapped to get the reward money for “finding” her.
Shannon was discovered drugged and imprisoned in the base of a divan bed less than a mile away at the flat of Michael Donovan.
He is the uncle of Craig Meehan, who was Matthews’ boyfriend at the time.
Matthews and Donovan, now 49, were jailed for eight years for kidnap, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice.
The new drama focuses on the women living on the Moorside estate who came together during a 24-day police search which cost the taxpayer over £3 million.
More than 250 police officers and 60 detectives were involved, 3,000 homes were searched and air support and sniffer dogs also used.
Cilla star Sheridan, 35, plays community leader Julie Bushby, who believed in Matthews while Sherlock star Sian Brooke plays neighbour Natalie Brown, who first suspected her friend wasn’t telling the truth.
Both Sheridan and Sian, 37, spent time with their characters’ real-life counterparts to prepare for their roles.
Sian said: “When I spoke to Natalie, she gave this impression of community. They were so close.
“Mothers along their road would have their doors open all the time, they would look after each other’s kids.
“Natalie and Karen had been friends for many years and so, for her, it was a huge sense of betrayal.”
Sheridan revealed she has become friends with the woman she portrays and said: “Julie never wanted to see bad of Karen. She never wanted to give up hope.
“Me and Julie are still friends. I’ve got such admiration for everyone on that estate, but especially Julie.
“She’s stronger that I am. She helped me with the whole journey all along.”
But despite Matthews’ former pals helping with the production, her family say they have had no contact from the makers but fear they will be back in the national spotlight.
A family member said: “We’ve had no contact, no. And we won’t be watching it.”
They said they felt they had been hounded over the years because of Matthews’ actions.
One family friend said: “They didn’t know about the show until they read it was going to be on TV.
“They say they weren’t asked for their input.
“None of them asked for this to happen and now it’s all being brought up again. They’re furious about it.
“They feel their name has been dragged through the mud for years.
“They just want to forget about it, but they’re not being allowed."
Matthews and Donovan were released from prison after serving half their sentences.
Last month it emerged Matthews has turned to God as she tries to turn her life around.
She has joined a Bible group to meet new friends, has become a teetotaller and prays every day in an effort to lift her spirits.
Matthews claims her notoriety has left her unable to get a job and is trying to survive on £25 a week in benefits.
She has moved hundreds of miles away from her former home in Dewsbury and adopted a new name.
Writer Neil McKay said they hadn’t contacted Matthews – played by Game of Thrones actress Gemma Whelan – because they had concerns about putting her back in the public eye.
But McKay, who also worked on the drama Appropriate Adult about serial killer Fred West, said: “We don’t tell it from Matthews’ point of view, we don’t defend her or condemn her, we just call it as we saw it.
“We don’t make any apology for Karen’s crime. She’s frequently described as evil in the Press, which, to put her in the same category as Rose West and Myra Hindley, is just daft.
“Whatever Shannon thinks about her mother, and we can’t speculate about that, it’s better that there’s a portrait of Karen that’s more balanced and nuanced.”
Shannon, now 18, was also given a new identity and placed with a new family after a spell in care.