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ITV’s The Long Shadow: Who plays Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe and what has he been in before?

ITV‘s new crime drama, The Long Shadow, continues on Monday night, telling the harrowing story of the five-year manhunt for serial killer Peter Sutcliffe, who was nicknamed ‘The Yorkshire Ripper’ by the press. 

The seven-part series follows the lives of Sutcliffe’s victims, as well as the police officers at the heart of the investigation. But who is playing the infamous murderer in the new drama and where have you seen the actor before? 

WATCH: The trailer for ITV’s new crime drama, The Long Shadow

Who plays Peter Sutcliffe – aka The Yorkshire Ripper – in The Long Shadow?

Mark Stobbart plays Peter Sutcliffe in The Long Shadow. 

Mark Stobbart © Dave J Hogan
Mark Stobbart plays Peter Sutcliffe in The Long Shadow

The actor is perhaps best recognised for playing DS Neil Twyler in season four of BBC One’s hit police drama, Line of Duty, and for his portrayal of Neil ‘Robbo’ Robson in the ITV crime drama, The Hunt for Raoul Moat

Mark is also known for playing PC Martin Clark in the drama series, 55 Degrees North, which aired on BBC One for a year from 2004 to 2005.

Mark Stobbart as Robbo in The Hunt For Raoul Moat© ITV/Shutterstock
Mark Stobbart as Robbo in The Hunt For Raoul Moat

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He’s also made one-episode appearances in Vera, No Offence, Doctors, Skins and Inspector George Gently.

Mark Stobbart in Line of Duty© BBC
Mark Stobbart as DS Neil Twyler in Line of Duty

Away from the cameras, Mark is married to a woman named Anna. The couple share three young daughters.

What is The Long Shadow about? 

The series details the five-year search for killer Peter Sutcliffe, who claimed the lives of 13 women and attempted to murder seven others. 

The drama is told from the perspective of the police officers and the victims, focusing on the impact on the lives of those affected by Sutcliffe’s crimes. 

Katherine Kelly as Emily Jackson in The Long Shadow © Justin Slee
Katherine Kelly as victim Emily Jackson in The Long Shadow

MORE: The Long Shadow viewers saying same thing about ITV’s new Yorkshire Ripper drama

READ: 23 best crime shows to watch on Netflix

The synopsis reads: “One murder has the power to cast a long shadow and this case plunged a whole society into darkness,” the synopsis begins. “For every victim, there were friends and loved ones. For every police officer, there was the burden of failure – of near misses and guilt – and the knowledge that as they failed to find their man, more women continued to suffer. 

“The impact on the lives of those who live on after the death of their loved one remains to this day. Those who cannot escape what happened, who must sit with their incomprehensible trauma for decades after, enduring their own life sentences.”

Toby Jones as DCS Dennis Hoban and Lee Ingleby as DCS Jim Hobson in The Long Shadow© Justin Slee
Toby Jones as DCS Dennis Hoban and Lee Ingleby as DCS Jim Hobson

It continues: “With people today holding to account the institutional foundations that foster misogyny, racism, and violence against women, The Long Shadow will speak to the societal issues of the past whilst highlighting alarming parallels between these terrible crimes and tragic events in our more recent history.”

Why was the title changed to The Long Shadow? 

The drama was originally titled ‘The Yorkshire Ripper’, but was changed out of respect for the victims’ families. 

At a Q&A ahead of the show’s premiere on ITV, writer George Kay explained the change. He said, per Digital Spy: “We started by calling it The Yorkshire Ripper but in the beginning we hadn’t learnt, as we did when making the show, that the moniker used to describe Peter Sutcliffe – which obviously began before anyone knew his real name, but continued after – was disrespectful in many ways.”

Jill Halfpenny as Doreen Hill in The Long Shadow © Justin Slee
Jill Halfpenny as Doreen Hill

He continued: “We’ve been working on this for four years and in that time we’ve met lots of people in all parts of this story. We’ve tried to learn and change and understand their stories and their opinions, and so because of that the title changed from The Yorkshire Ripper.”

Awesome TV shows coming in Autumn 2023

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All the Light We Cannot See, Netflix – 2 November

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