A first look at David Tennant as serial killer Dennis Nilsen in forthcoming ITV drama Des has been revealed.
The Doctor Who star, 48, will play the notorious convict who became known as the Muswell Hill Murderer.
The image shows a dead-eyed Tennant wearing Nilsen’s recognisable glasses and blue shirt.
Written by Luke Neal, Des is based on the book Killing For Company by Brian Masters.
The story is told from the view of Nilsen, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay played by Daniel Mays, and biographer Brian Masters played by Jason Watkins.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Nilsen carried out a murderous spree of near-unparalleled savagery.
He is believed to have killed as many as 15 young men, most of them homeless homosexuals, at his north London home.
He was jailed for life with a recommendation he serve a minimum of 25 years in 1983, on six counts of murder and two of attempted murder.
Nilsen, who hailed originally from Fraserburgh, died behind bars last year aged 72.
In 2016 Nilsen revealed in a series of letters to The Press and Journal why he never challenged or appealed his sentence.
He wrote: “I will not lodge any appeal for release from prison as I owe it to my victims and to justice to serve out whatever time has been allocated to me.
“I have never even thought about lodging an appeal against conviction or sentence and I have always felt this way since day one and nothing has changed in this.”
He also shared his thoughts on his upbringing in Aberdeenshire and his controversial autobiography.
ITV’s head of drama Polly Hill said: “David Tennant is going to be brilliant as Dennis Nilsen and with Daniel Mays as Jay and Jason Watkins as Brian, this has an incredible cast to bring this story to screen.”
Executive producer for New Pictures Kim Varvell said: “Dennis Nilsen’s crimes shocked the nation in the early 1980s. Our programme focuses on the emotional impact of those terrible crimes, both on those who came into contact with Nilsen himself, and also on the victims’ families.
“We’re thrilled to be working with Luke on this project.”
It is understood the drama will be aired next year.