‘Endeavour’ star joins ITV true crime drama ‘Delia Balmer’

Shaun Evans begins filming a new crime series soon!

Ahead of the actor’s return as the young Inspector Morse in the final season of Endeavour later this month, ITV has announced details of his next project.

Delia Balmer comes from the makers of Line of Duty, Bodyguard, and Vigil.

The four-part true crime drama will tell the extraordinary true story of Delia Balmer, who survived a near-fatal relationship with murderer John Sweeney in the 1990s.

Leading the cast will be The Bletchley Circle star Anna Maxwell Martin as Delia Balmer, alongside Shaun Evans (Endeavour, Vigil) as Sweeney.

Maxwell Martin was most recently on our screens in ITV’s Cold War spy drama A Spy Among Friends, alongside Damian Lewis.

Based on Delia Balmer’s book, Living with a Serial Killer, the mini-series has been written by Nick Stevens, who previously wrote The Pembrokeshire Murders for ITV.

Stevens commented: “A few months after reading Living with a Serial Killer, I had my first meeting with Delia Balmer. She was unlike anybody I’d ever met before.

“Still suffering from PTSD ten-plus years after John Sweeney’s conviction, Delia is, though she would never admit it, a hero. A survivor whose determination to pursue the good in life – to dance, to travel, to live – is ultimately greater than her demons.”

The screenwriter added: “I am hugely grateful to Delia, and the police who worked with her to finally secure Sweeney’s conviction, for enabling us to tell Delia’s incredible story.”

Shaun Evans said: “I’m looking forward to joining forces to tell this story … a story that is quite rightly told through the victim’s lens, Delia. We have an excellent script from Nick Stevens and I couldn’t be more delighted to work with Anna.”

Executive producer Simon Heath commented: “Delia’s story is a unique and powerful one of a woman who survived terrible violence at the hands of a man who should never have been free to commit his heinous crimes.

“Delia’s story shines a light on the failings of the legal system to deal with male violence against women and so sadly still resonates today.”

The official synopsis reads: “In 1991 Delia leads an itinerant and solitary life in London working as an agency nurse. When she meets fellow free-spirit John Sweeney in a local pub, it seems like the connection she has been searching for.

“As the relationship develops, Sweeney’s artistic, anti-establishment persona gives way to a darker side, culminating in a series of violent attacks on Delia, during which he tells her he killed his former girlfriend and disposed of her body in an Amsterdam canal.

“Sweeney is arrested but, due to a catastrophic failure by the court to realise how dangerous he is, granted bail. He immediately pursues Delia and subjects her to a horrific, near-fatal attack. She survives, but Sweeney evades capture and disappears.

“Shattered by the trauma and injuries inflicted by Sweeney, Delia bravely seeks to rebuild her life. But Sweeney returns seven years later and is arrested for the murder of another girlfriend in North London. Delia’s fragile recovery is shattered all over again as she has to face Sweeney in open court, her testimony vital to the prosecution case against him.

“This is the story of one woman’s astonishing will to survive through physical and emotional torment, despite the failings of the institutions which were meant to protect her.”

Delia Balmer commences shooting in February, and it’s expected to premiere later in 2023 on ITV1 and streaming on ITVX.

Endeavour is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.