New ITV drama, Lucan, slammed by son of murder victim Sandra Rivett

by Anna Howell

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An ITV drama based on the story of Lord Lucan has been slammed by the real life son of Lucan’s murder victim, Sandra Rivett!

Lucan, which began filming this summer and which is due to air on our ITV screens later this month starring Rory Kinnear and Christopher Eccleston, tells the story of Lord Lucan’s escapades as a member of the Clermont set as well as his failed marriage to Veronica, the Countess of Lucan.

The story of Lucan’s life, which is well known by all, came to a dramatic finale when, amidst the drama of divorce and custody battles over his children, Lucan went on the run after his children’s nanny, Sandra Rivett, was found bludgeoned to death in his basement.

The whereabouts of Lucan remain, to this day, a mystery, though many believe that Lucan mistook Sandra for his wife, and there have been several reported sightings of him since that fateful night back in 1974.

There has been much excitement in the build-up to Lucan, which is based on the book The Gamblers, written by author John Pearson who conducted intense interviews with those most closely connected to Lucan at the time of the murder, with Francis Hopkinson, ITV Studios Creative Director and Executive Producer commenting:

“This extraordinary and tragic event has fascinated people for 40 years. Jeff Pope’s script, based on John Pearson’s book The Gamblers, brings new insight and revelations, which will surprise the audience. We are delighted that a top cast and director have come together to tell this story.”

Whilst ITV’s Director of Drama commissioning Steve November added:

“The story of Lord Lucan continues to mystify and intrigue us,” said Steve. “Jeff’s reputation for award-winning factual drama goes before him and these new scripts offer a compelling insight into the events surrounding Lucan’s disappearance.”

However, there is one person who most definitely will not be tuning in to watch Lucan when it hits our screens on December 11, and that is Rivett’s son!


Neil Berriman, who Rivett gave up for adoption as a baby, has revealed that he is not impressed by the glamorisation of the death of his birth mother, telling the Radio Times:

“They have invited me to watch the drama but I have got no intentions of going’ he told Radio Times, ‘The programme is not entertainment. They are profiting from my mum’s death.”

He went on to say how he had been in contact with Lucan’s daughter, Camilla, and that she is in agreement, explaining:

“Camilla and I both want closure and justice for my mother”

Meanwhile a spokesman for ITV has responded to this news, stating: “ITV has contacted everyone immediately connected with the story and given them a chance to engage and discuss any concerns.

“No-one connected with this story had declared they were unhappy about us pursuing the drama. This includes the Lucan family and, in particular, the family of Sandra Rivett.

“The drama is not a re-hash of the story but rather seeks to provide a new insight into the events of 7 November 1974 and, crucially, attempts to answer the riddle of what became of Lord Lucan.”

Lucan is due to hit our ITV screens on December 11.