David Tennant was 'creepy' to work with as serial killer Dennis Nilsen in Des

David Tennant was ‘creepy’ to work with while filming for ITV drama Des, according to his co-star Ben Bailey Smith.

The three-part series sees David play serial killer Dennis Nilsen, and will follow the arrest and trial of the murderer.

The new drama, which is based on a true crime book titled Killing for Company also stars Line of Duty actor Daniel Mays and Jason Watkins.

Speaking ahead of the new series, Ben, who plays police officer Brian Lodge, said there was a real chill in the air when working with David.

‘It was terrifying because he was on it the whole time,’ he told Metro.co.uk.

‘There are so many great actors in the show – Danny Mays and Jason Watkins, but when he (David) came on set, there was a chill in the air.


‘He was intense in the best possible way and when he was dressed up and on set it was genuinely chilling. It really was quite creepy being in the same room as him.’

The drama will surround how serial killer Nilsen lured his victims in before he was finally caught.

He would meet and befriend his victims before offering them food or lodgings for the evening back at his North London flat.


They were often homeless or living off-grid, having slipped through the cracks of 1980s society and were therefore welcoming of this stranger’s apparent generosity.

When he was finally caught on February 9 1983, Nilsen had murdered as many as 15 men over a period of five years, making him Britain’s most prolific serial killer at the time.

After his arrest, Nilsen was astonishing in his honesty – initially admitting outright to all 15 murders in the police car outside his flat. But infuriatingly for the investigating detectives, he couldn’t remember his victims’ names.

He was sentenced to life in prison on November 4 1983, after being found guilty for six counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.

Nilsen would then perform rituals on their bodies and eventually would dispose of the body parts down the toilet.

The killings were undetected until police were called to reports of human remains clogging the drains.

Nilsen died in prison on May 12 2018 at the age of 72.

Des airs tonight at 9pm on ITV.

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