Belfast Telegraph

Cast of Rhys Jones murder drama faced 'an awful lot of responsibility'

The 11-year-old was gunned down on his way home from football practice in Croxteth, Liverpool, in 2007.

The actress who plays the mother of murdered schoolboy Rhys Jones in a TV dramatisation has told of the “responsibility” she felt in taking on the role.

Sinead Keenan, 39, stars in Little Boy Blue, the new ITV series based on the story of the 11-year-old, who was gunned down by 16-year-old Sean Mercer on his way home from football practice in Croxteth, Liverpool, in 2007.

Keenan told Good Morning Britain: “It’s not easy, I’d be lying if I said it was. If this was just a story that was made up, you’d think that was horrific enough.

“The fact that it was real and something that a family are living through, and still are, day in, day out, it brings an awful lot of responsibility to bear on the whole cast.”

Keenan and her co-star, Brian F O’Byrne, met Rhys’s parents, Melanie and Steve Jones, who have given their blessing to the drama, which starts on Monday night.

“They were very kind, welcoming people, very generous with their time, very honest. There was very little censorship in terms of when they spoke about Rhys and what they went through,” Keenan said.

“I believe they’ve seen all four episodes.”

Taboo actor Stephen Graham plays Detective Superintendent Dave Kelly in Little Boy Blue, which explores the impact of the crime amid a wave of gang violence.

The drama was written by Jeff Pope, who was executive producer of The Moorside, about the faked kidnapping of schoolgirl Shannon Matthews.

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