Belfast Telegraph

The Fall's Bronagh Waugh: I'd play killer Hazel Stewart in TV drama

And James Nesbitt is said to be interested in playing dentist Colin Howell

By Patricia Devlin

Bronagh Waugh says she is “open to talks” about playing the role of double killer Hazel Stewart in a major TV drama.

The Fall star, 32, says she would “definitely consider” portraying the attractive and cunning blonde killer, who helped lover Colin Howell gas her husband and his young wife to death more than 20 years ago.

And the Coleraine-born actress said The Missing star James Nesbitt, also from the Co Londonderry town, would be “fantastic” for the role of the sex mad, Bible bashing Ballymoney dentist.

Nesbitt is said to have expressed an interest in portraying the Baptist lay preacher, just before TV bosses met to discuss plans to take the story to the small screen.

“He’d be fantastic,” Bronagh told Sunday Life. “If he does it that is, because obviously it is just speculation at the moment, he’d be absolutely fantastic.

“He’s an amazing actor and he is at the top of his game at the moment with The Missing. He is a great ambassador for acting in this country and flies the flag for Coleraine.”


Asked if she thought her connection to the area could steer the casting of a young Stewart her way, Bronagh said: “I haven’t been approached but I have heard about the plans and thought, ‘Oh I’m from Coleraine, I’m an actress so...And the story certainly interests me.

“Like I said, I haven’t been approached but if I was I would certainly like to talk about it and would definitely consider it.”

Ever since Howell and Stewart were jailed, there’s been intense speculation that a film or TV drama would be made. Earlier this month veteran journalist Deric Henderson, who penned bestselling book Let This Be Our Secret about the Castlerock murders, met with TV bosses to discuss the idea.

Bafta winning director and producer Stuart Urban is said to have been in negotiations with the Belfast author.

Henderson confirmed that Nesbitt had expressed an interest in playing guilt ridden double killer Howell — a successful cosmetic dentist and a lay preacher who became an online porn addict and lost a fortune in an overseas investment scam.

Both Howell and former mistress Stewart are serving life sentences for the murders of their respective spouses Lesley Howell, 31, and Trevor Buchanan, 32, in May 1991. Howell gassed his wife and the RUC husband of his mistress and made it look like they died in a suicide pact in Castlerock after they discovered their partners were having an affair.

Former lovers Stewart and Howell’s cruel deception fooled police and they literally got away with murder for 19 years before guilt ridden, broke Howell walked into a police station and confessed to the murders, naming Hazel as his accomplice.

Heartless Hazel had since married a police officer and was leading a comfortable, respectable life before she was exposed for her roles in the murder of her first policeman husband Trevor Buchanan and the murder of nurse Lesley Howell, a mother of four young children.


DRAMATIC TALE: Colin Howell and Hazel Stewart and James Nesbitt, rumoured to possibly play Howell


KILLER NEW ROLE: Bronagh Waugh may be lined up to play killer Hazel in new TV drama

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