Sick of Serial Killer Shows? The Best British True Story TV Series (That Aren’t About Murder)

Love a true story but can’t stomach murders? These excellent real-life dramatisations prove that truth really can be stranger than fiction.

Monica Dolan and Eddie Marsan in The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe
Photo: ITV1

Fly on the wall? Pah! The wall is all the way over there! These days, viewers want to be flies buzzing right around the noses of the people making the headlines, close enough to tell what they had for breakfast. And thanks to true story TV dramas, they can.

It’s been a long time since ropey Lifetime Movies were as good as it got for true story TV. In recent years, British production companies have stepped up in a big way to serve a growing appetite for fact-based drama, but all too often the real-life TV dramas of today focus on haunting tales of history’s most gruesome murders. If you’re sick of serial killers, there are plenty of non-murder true stories to enjoy in drama form, from very public scandals to ordinary people doing extraordinary things, to the kinds of tragedies it’s important that we never forget.

From the devastating to the heartwarming, here’s our choice of the best:


Where to watch: ITVX (UK), Acorn (US)


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