Belfast Telegraph

Nanny's son hits out at Lucan drama

The son of the woman thought to have been murdered by Lord Lucan has accused ITV of "profiting" from her death by making a new drama about the infamous crime.

James Bond star Rory Kinnear plays Lucan, who vanished after his family's nanny Sandra Rivett was found bludgeoned to death, in the upcoming drama.

The aristocrat's car was later found abandoned and soaked in blood in Newhaven, East Sussex, and an inquest jury declared him the killer a year later.

His eventual fate remains a mystery and he was officially declared dead by the High Court in 1999 but there have been reported sightings of him as far afield as Australia, Ireland and South Africa.

The two-part drama is based on John Pearson's book The Gamblers, which claims Lucan's high-rolling friends who gathered at the Clermont Club in Mayfair, central London, and included Sir James Goldsmith and John Aspinall, spirited him out of the country after the murder.

Ms Rivett's son Neil Berriman, who was given up for adoption when he was a baby and only discovered his mother's identity when he was 40, said he thought it was "appalling".

He told the Radio Times: " They have invited me to watch the drama but I have got no intentions of going. The programme is not entertainment. They are profiting from my mum's death."

Mr Berriman, from Liphook, Hampshire, said he had got to know Lucan's daughter Camilla Bingham since he learned about his mother.

He said: " Camilla and I both want closure and justice for my mother."

A spokesman for the channel said: "ITV has contacted everyone immediately connected with the story and given them a chance to engage and discuss any concerns. No-one connected with this story had declared they were unhappy about us pursuing the drama.

"This includes the Lucan family and, in particular, the family of Sandra Rivett. The drama is not a re-hash of the story but rather seeks to provide a new insight into the events of 7 November 1974 and, crucially, attempts to answer the riddle of what became of Lord Lucan."

But Ms Bingham said " the collective Lucan family has never endorsed this drama", adding: " I am not aware that the drama will offer any new insights into the tragic events of November 7 1974 which led to the death of lovely Sandra. If there were new insights, the proper course would be for the relevant evidence to be submitted to the police, not titivated and presented to the public under the guise of entertainment."

:: The latest edition of the Radio Times is out now.


From Belfast Telegraph