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David Tennant - Des

David Tennant as the serial killer Dennis Nilsen from the new ITV drama Des

David Tennant played one of Britain's most infamous serial killers in an ITV drama which explored Scottish Dennis Nilsen's five-year killing spree and was titled Des.

Also in the three episode drama were Line Of Duty actor Daniel Mays as Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay and Jason Watkins as Brian Masters who wrote a biography on Nilsen.

The drama was told through the prism of the three men: Dennis Nilsen, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay and biographer Brian Masters. The series explores the personal and professional consequences of coming into contact with a man like Nilsen.

Additional cast included Ron Cook, Faye McKeever, Chanel Cresswell, Barry Ward, Tony Way, Bronagh Waugh, Laurie Kynaston, Ross Anderson, Ben Bailey Smith, Jay Simpson, Silas Carson, Stuart McQuarrie, Jamie Parker, Lex Shrapnel, Gerard Horan, Joel Morris, Jonathan Coy, Amy Booth-Steel, Ken Bones, Andrew Woodall and Amaka Okafor.

ITV's head of drama, Polly Hill, said: "This starts with Nilsen's arrest and is looking at him through the eyes of the police officer trying to identify those he killed and deliver justice. David Tennant is going to be brilliant as Nilsen and, with Daniel and Jason, this has an incredible cast."

The drama was based on material from Brian's book Killing For Company which features conversations with the serial killer who was known as Des.

Des was written by Luke Neal (episodes one and two) and Kelly Jones (episode three).

David Tennant was one of the executive producers.

Nilsen was a former soldier and policeman who murdered at least a dozen boys and young men in his North London homes between 1978 and 1983. He was only caught when DCI Peter Jay was called to his home in Muswell Hill to investigate human remains clogging the drains. The killer had strangled his victims before chopping them up and flushing their body parts down the toilet.

The drama also looked at why his killing spree went uncovered for so long which was in part because his victims were homeless or prostitutes. Nilsen was convicted of six counts of murder and two of attempted murder in 1983 and given a life sentence. He died in 2018 aged 72.

Des started filming on Monday 25th November 2019 and aired in the UK on the three consecutive evenings Monday 14th to Wednesday 16th September 2020 at 9pm. Broadcast deals for Des in other markets include Sundance Now for the Americas (where broadcast started on Thursday 15th October 2020), Stan for Australia, TVNZ On Demand for New Zealand (from Thursday 8th October), Virgin Media One in Ireland (from Monday 5th October) and CMore for Scandinavia.

Des was released on DVD and Blu-Ray in the UK on Monday 12th October. It will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray in the US on Tuesday 16th March 2021.

David Tennant also narrated a documentary titled The Real 'Des': The Dennis Nilsen Story. The one hour documentary premiered on ITV on Thursday 17th September at 9pm.

The first trailer for Des:

Link to posts related to Des on Blogger.com. (Usually with more detail.)

2021
Staged and Des nominated for Broadcast and Rockie Awards.
Staged has been nominated in the Broadcast Awards 2021 for the Best Lockdown Programme - Entertainment, Comedy And Scripted Award and in the Rockie Awards for the Scripted: Short Fiction Program Award.
Des has been nominated in the Broadcast Awards for the Best Drama Series Or Serial Award and in the Rockie Awards for the Scripted: Limited Series Award.
The winners of the Broadcast Awards 2021 will be revealed on Thursday 27th May and the 42nd Rockie Awards winners ceremony will be live streamed on YouTube on Tuesday 15th June at 3pm EST (8pm in the UK). Updated 15/4

An interesting video about how (and when) David Tennant got involved in the ITV drama Des has been posted to YouTube. Updated 8/4

Des is released on DVD and Blu-Ray in the US today. Updated 16/3

David Tennant with his Best Actor Award from the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards

A photo of David Tennant with his Best Actor Award from the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards which he won for Staged and Des has been posted online. Updated 12/3

David Tennant won the Best Actor Award at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards which were announced via Twitter today.
David won his award for his acting in both Des and Staged.
Also Staged won the Best Comedy Award at the same ceremony.
Unfortunately Des didn't win the Best Drama Series 1-4 Episodes Award as Quiz (which stars Michael Sheen) won.
The link includes a video of David's acceptance speech. Updated 12/3

David Tennant's projects win three Radio Times 2021 Awards.
Des won the Best Drama Award.
Staged won the Best Comedy Award.
Staged also won the TV Moment Of The Year Award.
The awards were voted for by a public vote.
Also David Tennant was voted #5 in Radio Times Top 100 Award which is an award for people the Radio Times staff felt have contributed most to the industry during the year.
A clip featuring David Tennant accepting the Comedy Award is included in the link. Updated 7/3

Des won The Version award for Best One Off Drama (which was decided by a public vote). Updated 3/3

David Tennant nominated for Best Actor Award for Des and Staged in Broadcasting Press Guild Awards.
Also Staged has been nominated for the Best Comedy Award and Des for the Best Drama Series 1-4 Episodes Award.
The winners will be announced via Twitter on Friday 12th March. Updated 18/2

Des has been nominated for Best One Off Drama Series Award in The Version 2021 TV Drama Awards.
Voting ends at 4pm on Friday 26th February and you can vote as many times as you like. The winners will be announced 'at the beginning of March'.
Voting link. Updated 5/2

Des and Staged have been nominated for Radio Times Awards 2021.
Des has been nominated for the Best Drama Award.
Staged has been nominated for the Best Comedy Award.
Staged has also been nominated for the TV Moment Of The Year Award.
Voting for the Radio Times Awards 2021 Awards opened today at 9am and closes at 5pm on Sunday 14th February.
The winners will be announced on Sunday 7th March. Updated 2/2

Des to be released on DVD and Blu-Ray in the US on Tuesday 16th March. Updated 12/1


December 2020
Des has won the Best Drama Award in the TV Zone awards which were chosen by readers of that site. Updated 27/12

David Tennant is named Best Male Actor Of 2020 by readers of Digital Spy for Des.
The link includes a video of David accepting the award on the set of Around The World In 80 Days. Updated 26/12

The Times includes Des in its list of The Best TV Shows Of 2020.
Its the newspapers 'Most horrifying performance.' Updated 26/12

TV Zone has a Best Of 2020 poll with nominees including David Tennant's projects Staged for Best Comedy Series and Des for Best Drama.
Voting ends on Sunday 20th December. The results will be revealed between Christmas and New Year.
Voting link. Updated 12/12

David Tennant, Des and Staged top the I Talk Telly polls. Half a million votes were cast over all the polls.
David Tennant won the Best Dramatic Performance Award for Des.
Staged won the Best New Comedy Award.
David Tennant and Michael Sheen won the Best Comedy Partnership Award. (A funny clip from David and Michael has been posted to the I Love Telly website of them accepting that award.)
Des won the Best New Drama Award. Updated 6/12

David Tennant has won the Best TV Actor Award for Des in the Digital Spy Awards. Updated 3/12

David Tennant won the TV Times Favourite Actor poll for Des. Updated 2/12


November 2020
Des premieres on the streaming service Starzplay today in France, Germany and Spain. Updated 29/11

After 28 days consolidation Des has become ITV's highest rated show of 2020 with 12 million viewers. Updated 27/11

David Tennant, Des and Staged have been nominated for the I Talk Telly Awards.
David Tennant has been nominated for the Best Dramatic Performance (Daniel Mays has also been nominated for that award for Des).
David Tennant and Michael Sheen have been nominated for the Best Comedy Partnership for Staged.
Des has also been nominated for the Best New Drama Award and Staged for the Best New Comedy award.
Voting closes at 11.59pm on Saturday 21st November and the winners will be announced on Sunday 6th December. Updated 8/11


October 2020
The third and final episode of Des streams in the US and Canada on Sundance Now from today. Updated 29/10

A trailer in Spanish for Des on Starzplay has been added to YouTube. Updated 26/10

Des has been selected for Seriencamp's Official Competition 2020.
Seriencamp is Germany's largest conference and festival for serial storytelling and drama series.
Des will be screened at the festival during its 5th to 22nd November run. Updated 26/10

TV Zone reports that the three episodes of Des were the three most watched shows in the 28 day consolidated ratings for programmes shown between Monday 14th and Sunday 20th September.
They beat the show in fourth place (a soap opera) by 3.7 million.
The ratings were:
Des (Monday) - 11,948,490
Des (Wednesday) - 10,926,482
Des (Tueday) - 10,703,019
Coronation Street (Monday) - 7,022,685 Updated 24/10

Des will premiere on Starzplay in France, Germany and Spain on Sunday 29th November.
Posters for France and Germany have been posted online. Updated 22/10

The second episode of Des streams in the US and Canada on Sundance Now from today. Updated 22/10

The final episode of Des has its Irish premiere on Virgin Media One tonight at 10pm. Updated 19/10

The first episode of Des streams in the US and Canada on Sundance Now from today. Updated 15/10

New York Times has a new interview with David Tennant.
It includes the quote 'Tennant's portrayal of Nilsen was one of the most talked-about performances on British TV this fall.' Updated 14/10

Des has consolidated to a series average of around 12 million views.
2 million of the 12 million was on ITV Hub. Updated 13/10

The second episode of Des has its Irish premiere on Virgin Media One tonight at 10pm. Updated 12/10

Des is released on DVD and Blu-Ray in the UK today. Updated 12/10

In New Zealand all three episodes of Des are available on TVNZ On Demand from today. Updated 8/10

Des screens at Cologne Film Festival from 6.30pm tonight at Cineplex Filmpalast 5. Updated 6/10

Tonight Ireland broadcasts the first episode of Des on Virgin Media One at 10pm.
The documentary The Real 'Des': The Dennis Nilsen Story follows at 11pm. Updated 5/10

Des plays at Zurich Film Festival in Lagerstrasse, Zurich at 1pm today in Kosmos 5. Updated 3/10


Septmber 2020
TVZone reports that Des took the top 3 slots in the 7 day consolidated ratings for programmes shown between Monday 14th and Sunday 20th September 2020!
The figures were:
1. Des (Mon) - 9,951,906
2. Des (Wed) - 8,933,799
3. Des (Tue) - 8,705,936
The fourth slot was taken by a soap opera with 6.8 million (so almost 2 million less). Updated 28/9

Broadcast dates announced for Des in Ireland and New Zealand.
Ireland will broadcast the first episode of Des on Virgin Media One at 10pm on Monday 5th October with the subsequent episodes broadcast on Monday 12th and Monday 19th October.
The documentary The Real 'Des': The Dennis Nilsen Story will be broadcast on Monday 5th October at 11pm and is narrated by David Tennant.
In New Zealand all three episodes of the series will be made available on TVNZ On Demand on Thursday 8th October. Updated 27/9

Des plays at Zurich Film Festival in Lagerstrasse, Zurich at 1.15pm today in Kosmos 4. Updated 27/9

It may be removed at some point but currently the documentary The Real 'Des': The Dennis Nilsen Story is available on YouTube. Updated 23/9

Des will stream in the US and Canada from Thursday 15th October.
The remaining two episodes will stream on the following two Thursdays. Updated 22/9

The first episode of Des had a consolidated figure of 10.9 million viewers (that was 9.6m excluding non-television and repeats) so was ITV's biggest new drama launch since Wild At Heart in 2006.
It also makes it the biggest new drama launch on any channel this year. Updated 22/9

More photos of David Tennant on the set of Des have been posted online. Updated 20/9

The cover art for the DVD and Blu-ray of Des in the UK has been updated with reviews/stars. Updated 19/9

A great photo of David Tennant on the set of Des with Daniel Mays has been posted online. Updated 19/9

A video of the making of Des has been posted to YouTube. Updated 18/9

A great photo of David Tennant on the set of Des with Jason Watkins has been posted online. Updated 18/9

A photo of David Tennant and director Lewis Arnold on the set of Des has been posted online. Updated 18/9

Link to ITV Hub to watch The Real 'Des': The Dennis Nilsen Story.
The link is only valid in the UK.

The Real 'Des': The Dennis Nilsen Story last night was watched by 3.1m (19.9%) so it was the most popular show on television in that slot which is very impressive for a documentary. Updated 18/9

The overnight figures for the three episodes of Des were:
Monday - 5.4m (31.7%)
Tuesday - 4.8m (27.0%)
Wednesday - 5.2m (29.0%) Updated 17/9

5.2 million watched the third and final episode of Des on ITV last night which was a massive 29% of those people watching television at that time.
The episode had a peak of almost 6 million. Updated 17/9

A lovely tweet by director Lewis Arnold about David Tennant in Des (with some photos) has been posted online. Updated 17/9

Link to ITV Hub to watch all three episodes of Des.
The link is only valid in the UK. Updated 17/9

Tonight David Tennant narrates a documentary titled The Real 'Des': The Dennis Nilsen Story.
The one hour documentary premieres on ITV at 9pm. Updated 17/9

A clip from tonight's concluding episode of Des has been posted online. Updated 16/9

4.8 million watched the second episode of Des on ITV last night.
So far almost 7 million people have watched the first episode in total (this is on television or on ITV Hub). Updated 16/9

Link to ITV Hub to watch the second episode of Des. The link is only valid in the UK. Updated 16/9

The third and final episode of Des premieres on ITV tonight. Updated 16/9

Des was watched by an average of 5.4 million last night which made it the biggest drama launch on ITV since Cleaning Up in 2019. Updated 15/9

Link to ITV Hub to watch the first episode of Des. The link is only valid in the UK. Updated 15/9

David Tennant has been nominated for the Best Actor Award for Des (even though it only started last night) in the TV Times/ What's On TV Awards.
There She Goes is also nominated for the Best Comedy Award.
Link to vote.
Voting ends on Tuesday 6th October. Updated 15/9

Metro also gives Des 5 stars in its review. It includes the line 'David Tennant gave us a version of Nilsen that was both plausible and abominable.' Updated 15/9

The Times (behind a paywall) has awarded 5 stars to Des in its review which includes 'Not until I saw the videos (available on YouTube) of the serial killer Dennis Nilsen being interviewed in prison did I realise how brilliant David Tennant's performance is in Des.' Updated 15/9

The Independent also gives Des 4 stars in its review which includes the comment 'David Tennant plays Nilsen, the latest effort in Tennant's attempt to prove no actor is more versatile.' Updated 15/9

The Guardian gives Des a 4 star review which has the title 'David Tennant excels as a perfectly ordinary serial killer.' Updated 15/9

The second episode of Des premieres on ITV tonight. Updated 15/9

The first episode of Des premieres on Stan in Australia today. Updated 15/9

Due to the sensitive topic of the drama and out of respect for the families of Nilsen's victims, we have made the decision not to post screencaps of David Tennant in Des as we feel it would be inappropriate. Updated 14/9

A new clip of David Tennant in Des has been posted online. Updated 14/9

The first episode of Des premieres on ITV tonight. Updated 14/9

This Morning (which is on ITV from 10am to 12.30pm) will include a behind the scenes look at the filming of Des. Updated 14/9

MP3 of the interview with David Tennant on BBC Front Row about Des. Updated 12/9

David Tennant will be a guest on Front Row on BBC Radio Four tonight at 7pm to discuss playing serial killer Dennis Nilsen in Des. Updated 11/9

Financial Times gives Des five stars in its review.
The title of the review is 'David Tennant is menacing as a narcissistic serial killer in ITV's Des.' Updated 11/9

On Monday (14th September) This Morning will include a behind the scenes look at Des. Updated 11/9

Des will play at this years Zurich Film Festival and at Cologne Film Festival.
Des will screen at Kosmos in Lagerstrasse, Zurich on: Sunday 27th September at 1.15pm in Kosmos 4
Saturday 3rd October at 1pm in Kosmos 5
Des will screen at Cologne Film Festival on Tuesday 6th October from 6.30pm at Cineplex Filmpalast 5. Updated 11/9

The Guardian has an interview with David Tennant about Des which includes a quote from him "It's not impossible to imagine someone like Nilsen doing something similar today." Updated 10/9

The cover art for the DVD and Blu-ray in the UK for Des has been posted online. Updated 10/9

Radio Times has another new clip of David Tennant from Des. Updated 9/9

The Scottish Sun has a new clip of David Tennant from Des. Updated 9/9

The List has a four star review of 'compulsive' Des which includes the phrase 'Tennant is on fine form.' Updated 8/9

There are photos (of varying sizes) of David Tennant on the cover of several more television listings magazines today. Most include interviews inside about Des too:
TV Times
TV Choice
TV And Satellite week Updated 8/9

Des to be released on DVD and Blu-Ray in the UK on Monday 12th October. Updated 8/9

A new video of David Tennant from Des has been posted online. Updated 7/9

David Tennant on the cover of Radio Times

David Tennant is on the cover of the issue of Radio Times which is published tomorrow.
The magazine also contains an interview with him about Des.
The cover has been posted online. Updated 7/9

As well as the premiere of Des on ITV on Monday 14th to Wednesday 16th September, each episode will be repeated on the same channel each evening at around 11.45pm. Updated 6/9

Interview with David Tennant by The Times about Des.
A quote from David in the interview is "Des isn�t a thriller. This isn�t Silence of the Lambs. This isn�t a whodunnit. It�s a warning. It�s a salutary tale of what human beings are capable of." Updated 5/9

Another new photo of David Tennant from Des has been posted online. Updated 4/9

A new photo of David Tennant from Des has been posted online. Updated 4/9

Digital Spy has the first review of Des.
The comment about David is:
'David Tennant's performance is at the centre of the drama and will leave you captivated and unnerved in equal measure.'

Another new photo of David Tennant from the drama Des has been posted online. Updated 3/9

BT.com has a new interview with David Tennant where he says he first heard about the drama Des when he was filming the third series of Broadchurch in 2016.
The interview also includes a quote from David ""As a society we have to try to understand why this happened and how to not have it happen again." Updated 3/9

A slightly different new photo of David Tennant from Des has been posted online. Updated 3/9

A new trailer for Des has been posted online.
This was to announce that the drama will premiere in Australia on Tuesday 15th September. Updated 3/9

A new photo of David Tennant from Des. Updated 3/9

David Tennant from Des

The Sun has a new interview with David Tennant about Des and it says he even perfected his signature!
One quote from David in the article is "It's tricky to get the balance right - you don't want to slip into sensationalism."
The interview concludes with David saying "There is a story to be told about the victims and why people fall through the cracks of society. Plus, how Nilsen could murder so many men without being noticed." Updated 2/9

David Tennant to narrate a documentary titled The Real 'Des': The Dennis Nilsen Story.
The one hour documentary will premiere on ITV on Thursday 17th September at 9pm. Updated 2/9


August 2020
A slightly different new photo of David Tennant from Des (and cropped by us) has been posted online. Updated 31/8

Start date announced for Des: Monday 14th September.
The remaining two episodes will be broadcast on the following two nights that week (Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th). Updated 31/8

The Big Issue has a new interview with David Tennant to promote Des.
The interview has the title 'Lockdown has been a leveller.' Updated 31/8

A video of David Tennant's interview on ITV News last night about Des and returning to filming after lockdown has been posted online. Updated 29/8


An interview with David Tennant will be shown on ITV News tonight about Des.
A screenshot of David in the drama from the news has been posted online. Updated 28/8

A new photo of David Tennant from Des from The Telegraph interview has been posted online. Updated 28/8

David Tennant interview with The Telegraph about Des. Updated 28/8

Four new photos of David Tennant from ITV's forthcoming drama Des have been posted online. Updated 24/8

The trailer for Des with subtitles (which should play for those outside the UK who couldn't view the version on YouTube) has been posted online. Updated 22/8

The first trailer for Des has been added to YouTube. Updated 22/8


Total Film Magazine has an interview with David Tennant about Des. Updated 21/8

A photo from today's Des press panel (via Zoom) has been posted online. Updated 13/8

A new photo of David Tennant from Des has been posted online. Updated 13/8

Des has been confirmed to premiere on ITV in September.
The exact day/time has not been announced yet. Updated 13/8


July 2020
New photos of David Tennant from Des. Updated 30/7

All3Media has announced that broadcast deals for Des include Sundance Now for the Americas, Stan and TV New Zealand for Australasia and CMore for Scandinavia.
It was announced in April that Des will be broadcast on ITV in the UK in the autumn. Updated 16/7


May 2020
iNews has a lovely quote by Daniel Mays about filming Des:
"To sit opposite David Tennant and watch him work was spellbinding. I�ve only ever come out of a scene while acting twice: once on stage with Ben Whishaw in Mojo and once when watching David as Nilsen." Updated 14/5


April 2020
In an article in The Times today about shows delayed due to Coronavirus, it says that Des will be screened on ITV in the autumn (as planned). Updated 11/4


January 2020
The director of Des (Lewis Arnold) tweeted that filming on the drama has wrapped. Updated 26/1

David Tennant briefly features as Dennis Nilsen in Des in the new ITV Upcoming Dramas In 2020 trailer which has been posted online.
David's section starts at 10 seconds.
The video may not play worldwide. Updated 20/1


November 2019
Daniel Mays tweeted that today is the first day of Des filming. Updated 25/11

David Tennant as the serial killer Dennis Nilsen from the new ITV drama Des

The first photo of David Tennant as the serial killer Dennis Nilsen from the new ITV drama Des has been posted online. Updated 22/11

David Tennant to play Scottish serial killer Dennis Nilsen in a new ITV drama titled Des.
Also in the three episode drama will be Line Of Duty actor Daniel Mays as Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay and Jason Watkins as Brian Masters who wrote a biography on Nilsen.
The drama will be told through the prism of three men: Dennis Nilsen, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay and biographer Brian Masters. The series will explore the personal and professional consequences of coming into contact with a man like Nilsen.
Des is scheduled to start filming soon and will air next year. Currently no plans have been announced whether the drama will be shown in any other countries.
David Tennant is one of the executive producers of the drama. Updated 22/11


David Tennant - Des


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