A new television drama about how Chris Jefferies was falsely accused of the murder of Joanna Yeates and then became “a very British kind of hero” has started filming in Bristol.
The first day of shooting took place yesterday on Princess Victoria Street in Clifton Village, and will also be happening at locations including the Bottle Yard studios in Hengrove.
It is written by Golden Globe and Bafta-winning writer Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon, The Last King of Scotland), directed by Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Hyde Park on Hudson, Le Week-End) and produced by double Bafta nominee Kevin Loader (Hyde Park on Hudson, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, Nowhere Boy).
The two-part drama begins the day before Yeates’ disappearance, and follows Jefferies through his arrest, release and subsequent isolation as his infamy profoundly affected his life.
“Peter Morgan has written a vivid and ultimately uplifting account of a man who was wrongly accused and found himself at the centre of a media storm,” says Michell.
“It’s a story that celebrates our right to be eccentric, and it also, as it happens, is the story of a rather brilliant man who was once my English teacher!”
Morgan said: “No one will ever forget the man with the eccentric hair who became so connected with the murder of Joanna Yeates.
“I want to make sure that no one forgets the same man who was acquitted, and who fought back to clear his name, and became a very British kind of hero.”
Landcape architect Yeates’ body was found at 9am on Christmas Day 2010 at a roadside verge in Failand, and Vincent Tabak, who lived in the same house as her and Jefferies, was eventually convicted of her murder.
As Bristol Culture reported at the time, it was a tragic case which transfixed the national media and caused an innocent man’s name to be dragged through the mud.
Jefferies is now a vociferous campaigner for press regulation. The Lost Honour is due to be broadcast on ITV next spring.