David Tennant’s portrayal of a north-east serial killer won him a top award at the National Television Awards last night.
The Scot’s portrayal of Fraserburgh-born Dennis Nilsen in the chilling docu-series Des landed him the best drama performance award.
Des, which aired on ITV in September last year, broke viewing records for ITV with 5.9 million people tuning in.
Viewers were especially impressed with Tennant’s “spine-tingling” performance and praised his accent and appearance, describing it as “chillingly good”.
— National TV Awards (@OfficialNTAs) September 9, 2021
The three-part series explored the 1983 arrest of Nilsen and the discovery of human remains that were blocking a drain at his home at Muswell Hill in London.
He was later convicted of killing at least 12 young boys and men between 1978 and 1983.
Before his death in 2018, Nilsen exchanged a series of letters with our reporter Cheryl Livingstone and explained why he would “never fight for his freedom.”
Des has sparked a huge interest in the serial killer, with Netflix recently releasing a documentary based on recordings Nilsen wrote from jail.
Memories of Murder: The Nilsen Tapes also features interviews with police, journalists, survivors and bereaved families.
Last month, Nilsen’s “best friend” – who wrote to him in prison for many years and was named his next-of-kin – revealed he plans to scatter Nilsen’s ashes back in the north-east.
Mark Austin hopes to return the ashes to Fraserburgh to scatter them in the North Sea to bring some “closure”.