When does The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe start on ITV? Release date, cast and plot

YOU may remember the story of John Darwin, the man who faked his own death with the help of his wife and a canoe.

His story will be told in a new ITV drama aptly named The Thief, His Wife And The Canoe.

When does The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe start on ITV?

The extraordinary and compelling story of how John Darwin faked his own death to claim life insurance and avoid bankruptcy will be told in this new ITV drama.

The Thief, His Wife, The Canoe is written by acclaimed screenwriter Chris Lang. 

ITV has announced this four-part drama will air on April 17, 2022 at 9pm.

Once each episode has aired, you will be able to watch it on the ITV Hub.

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Who stars in The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe?

Due to the high profile nature of the story, The Thief, His, Wife, The Canoe has attracted a star cast.

The star line-up includes:

  • Eddie Marsan as John Darwin – known for Ridley Road and The Pact.
  • Monica Dolan as Anne Darwin – known for A Very English Scandal and Vanity Fair.
  • Mark Stanley as Mark Darwin – known for White House Farm and Trigger Point.
  • Dominic Applewhite as Anthony Darwin – known for the Inbetweeners and Sex Education.
  • Karl Pilkington as DC Phil Bayley – known for Derek and Idiot Abroad.

What is The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe about?

The drama will focus on how Anne became complicit in her husband’s fraud.

It will show how she needed to convince the world, their family and friends, the police and insurance companies that he had gone missing in 2002 whilst canoeing off the coast of Seaton Carew in Cleveland where the couple owned two large houses with panoramic views of the sea.

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Mortgaged to the hilt, Darwin had also run up debts of £64,000 on 13 credit cards and his excessive spending had seen their finances spiral out of control.  

Anne would have preferred her husband go bankrupt, but she eventually went along with his absurd scheme to fake his own death. 

Darwin laid low while Anne was questioned by the police and began to weave a web of deceit.

The deception was to take its toll on Anne who lied to their sons, Mark and Anthony, for five years while her husband, in the early days of the fraud, secretly lived in a bedsit next door to the home he once shared with Anne. 

Devastated by the loss of their father, neither son had an inkling their parents were capable of such treachery.

Anne and John eventually decided to leave Seaton Carew and move to Panama City to start a new life together before their secret was exposed by the discovery of an infamous photo of them posing in a Panama real estate office in July 2006.

At her trial Anne pleaded not guilty, arguing that she had been coerced into the plot by her husband, but the jury didn’t believe her.

She and her husband were both jailed for more than 6 years.

Where are the real John and Anne Darwin now?

John has now settled in the Philippines with his new wife Mercy May, 48.

The couple married in 2015 after striking up a romance online.

The ex-teacher receives a UK state pension of around £134 per week, while his wife – a mum-of-three – sub-lets a clothing stall in a market in Manila and runs a retail store, the Mirror reported.

Meanwhile, Anne now lives a quiet life near York and is reconciled with her sons.

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