NewsITV drama to tell inspirational story of Anne Williams
A new, four-part drama focused on the inspirational impact of Hillsborough campaigner Anne Williams will begin on ITV in the UK on Sunday evening.
Anne is the story of her unflinching battle for truth and justice following the death of her son, 15-year-old Kevin, at the Hillsborough tragedy on April 15, 1989 that resulted in 97 supporters losing their lives.
Anne was a key figure in the Hillsborough families’ pursuit of fresh inquests after the coroner’s original verdict of accidental death at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, as she sought new medical opinions and tracked down witnesses who had tried to revive Kevin on the pitch that day.
Their courage, determination and resilience led to the quashing of that verdict in 2012, following the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report, and the subsequent verdict in April 2016 that the victims of the disaster were unlawfully killed.
Anne, who passed away in 2013, will be played by acclaimed actress Maxine Peake in a mini-series written by Kevin Sampson – author of Hillsborough Voices, for which Anne was interviewed on several occasions, and a fan in attendance at Hillsborough – and has been developed with the support of Anne’s daughter, Sara.
Watch: Anne trailer
“Anne’s is a story of a mother’s love being stronger than any opponent or obstacle,” said Sampson. “She refused to lie down, and it’s an honour that her family has entrusted us with telling her inspirational story.”
Sara Williams said: “Mum’s story was such a powerful and inspiring one, and we all remember how important she felt it was to get the message out there and bang the drum for justice.
“Over the years there has been a number of expressions of interest in dramatising her story, but the key factor for me was the involvement of people I knew personally, and who also have a deep understanding of Hillsborough, our story and all the elements around that.
“I am excited, as well as a little bit scared, for viewers to see my mum’s story, but I just felt it was the right thing to do. Alongside some very talented people, we have given everything to ensure we produce a series that does justice to my mum, our Kev, the 97 and everyone involved with Hillsborough.”
Filmed on location in and around Liverpool, Anne will be broadcast on ITV for four consecutive nights from Sunday January 2 at 9pm.
A companion documentary, The Real Anne: Unfinished Business, will subsequently air at 9pm on Thursday January 6 as Peake speaks to families, survivors and more about the campaign to reveal the truth of what happened at Hillsborough.