New ITV Drama Charts Life of John Stonehouse


ITV has commissioned the drama Stonehouse, starring Matthew Macfadyen and Keeley Hawes in a story about the life and times of disgraced Labour minister John Stonehouse.

The three-part drama is written by John Preston and directed by Jon S. Baird. BAFTA Award-winning and Emmy-nominated Matthew Macfadyen (Succession, Quiz) stars in the leading role, with Keeley Hawes (Honour, It’s A Sin) as Stonehouse’s wife, Barbara.

Stonehouse is produced by Snowed-In Productions and Clearwood Films, with BritBox International as a co-production partner. Banijay Rights will be responsible for the international distribution of the show.

Macfadyen said: “What happened to John Stonehouse is the stuff of legend. I’ve always been intrigued by what motivated him to fake his own death and leave behind the family he loved and doted upon and a promising political career. John Preston’s script truly captures the man and his colorful life, and I’m looking forward to taking on his character.”

Preston added: “I’ve always been fascinated by John Stonehouse. The story of how he faked his own death and tried to start a new life in Australia under an assumed name is one of the most bizarre true-life tales I’ve ever come across. I’m absolutely thrilled that it’s being brought to the screen with such an outstanding cast.”

ITV’s head of drama, Polly Hill, said: “John Preston’s brilliant scripts and the perfect casting of Matthew Macfadyen and Keeley Hawes promise to make this an unmissable drama. This incredible true story and the excellent production team, led by the director Jon S. Baird, will continue the unparalleled quality we have at delivering true drama on ITV.”

Baird commented: “I’m always drawn to fascinating true stories, and this one is extra special because it has both comedic and emotional potential. Matthew is perfect casting for this role. It’s also great to be working with ITV for the first time and with two fabulous producers in Ruth and Ellie.”

Ruth Kenley-Letts, CEO at Snowed-In Productions, said: “It’s thrilling to be a part of the team making this stranger-than-fiction story of a British MP who came back from the dead. It’s also very exciting to be working for the first time with the talented director Jon S. Baird on this first-class script with a standout cast. I’m delighted to be working again with Polly Hill and Kevin Lygo at ITV and partnering with Diederick Santer at BritBox International along with the team at Banijay, all of whom have given their unequivocal support to the project.”

Ellie Wood at Clearwood Films said: “It’s wonderful to be working on this drama about the astonishing rise and fall of John Stonehouse. John Preston’s exceptionally witty and poignant scripts feel peculiarly relevant at a time where the behavior of politicians is so often making headlines. I can’t wait for Matthew, Keeley and the brilliant cast to bring this incredible story to ITV and BritBox International.”