Toby Jones Boards ITV Drama ‘Ruth’ About Last Woman To Be Hanged In Britain

Toby Jones Boards ITV Drama ‘Ruth’ About Last Woman To Be Hanged In Britain

EXCLUSIVE: Toby Jones is to play the solicitor who tried to save Ruth Ellis in ITV’s upcoming drama about the last woman to be hanged in Britain.

Vera producer Silverprint Pictures has rounded out cast on Ruth, with Laurie Davidson (Mary and George), Mark Stanley (Happy Valley), Joe Armstrong (Happy Valley), Arthur Darvill (Broadchurch), Juliet Stevenson (Truly, Madly, Deeply) and Toby Stephens (Die Another Day) also boarding.

Based on Carol Ann Lee’s biography A Fine Day For Hanging: The Real Ruth Ellis Story, the show sees Boynton star as Ellis, a nightclub hostess who was hanged at the age of 28 after fatally shooting her abusive lover, David Blakely. Famous hangman Albert Pierrepoint carried out the death sentence at Holloway Prison in 1955. Deadline revealed the project in June.

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BAFTA-winner Jones, who is also starring as a detective in ITV’s George Kay-penned drama about the Yorkshire Ripper, will play Ellis’ solicitor John Bickford, who gradually realizes the extent of Ruth’s abuse at the hands of Blakely – and who takes on the fight to make the case for provocation. The show will be told over parallel timelines, with one half of the story following Ellis’ entry into a dizzying upper-class London and her ultimate downfall, while the other follows Bickford as he unravels the truth.

“We could not have dreamed of a more perfect cast to tell the compelling and complex story of Ruth Ellis,” said Silverprint Creative Director Kate Bartlett, who is exec producing with Antonia Gordon.

Ruth was commissioned by ITV’s Head of Drama Polly Hill and Drama Commissioner, Huw Kennair Jones. Kelly Jones has written all four scripts and Angie Daniell (World On Fire, Vigil, The Long Call) is producing the series. Lee Haven Jones (Passenger, Feast, The Long Call) directs all four episodes. ITV Studios is distributing.

Boynton most recently appeared in ITV’s three-part adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?. Her other credits include The Ipcress File and Chevalier.