‘The Real Stonehouse’ documentary explores true story behind new TV drama

ITV will air a documentary following the final episode of Stonehouse.

Set in the 1970s, the upcoming three-part drama reunites Spooks stars Matthew Macfadyen and Keeley Hawes.

Stonehouse tells the extraordinary true story of disgraced politician John Stonehouse, played by Macfayden (Pride & Prejudice).

Written by the author of A Very English Scandal, the mini-series tells how Stonehouse, a high-flying member of Harold Wilson’s Government, tried to fake his own death in Florida in 1974.

ITV’s companion documentary will explore the real John Stonehouse’s life through interviews with his family, colleagues and experts.

Titled The Real Stonehouse, the one-off 60-minute film features exclusive interviews with the UK and Australian police officers who brought him to justice and offers insights into Stonehouse’s double life.

Stonehouse will premiere on ITV1 and ITVX in the first week of January.

Starring alongside Matthew Macfadyen and Keeley Hawes are Emer Heatley (Showtrial) as Stonehouse’s mistress Sheila Buckley, Kevin R McNally (The Crown) as Harold Wilson, and Dorothy Atkinson (All Creatures Great and Small) as Betty Boothroyd.

The official synopsis reads: “John Stonehouse’s clothes were found on a Miami beach in December 1974.

“For five weeks there was no trace of his body and it was assumed he had drowned off the coast or been eaten by sharks. His wife and family believed he was dead – until a phone call from Australia. John had been found alive and well – living under an assumed name by detectives who thought they might have caught Lord Lucan…

“Stonehouse had stolen new identities and had faked his own death because his business empire was falling apart. He was later sentenced to seven years for fraud at the Old Bailey.

“Following his death in 1988, allegations resurfaced that he had spied for the Czech Secret Service and had been paid to pass information to the Soviet bloc.”

When does the documentary air?

The Real Stonehouse will air in the UK at 9pm on Thursday 5th January 2023 on ITV1.

It’ll then be available to watch on demand via ITV’s new catch-up streaming service ITVX.

Stonehouse will launch on BritBox in the US and internationally later in 2023.