Is The Light in the Hall based on a true story? Everything you need to know about Channel 4’s new gripping crime drama


Joanna Scanlan stars as a grieving mother in the Channel 4 drama (Picture: Alistair Heap)

Channel 4’s latest crime drama, The Light in the Hall, follows a grieving mother (Joanna Scanlan) who is still haunted by the past.

Sharon Roberts (Scanlan) is struggling to move on after her daughter Ela (Ella Peel) disappeared from their home in the Welsh valleys 18 years ago.

While quiet gardener Joe Pritchard (Iwan Rheon) confessed to her murder, after her DNA was found in his caravan, he has been unable to tell Sharon where Ela’s body is.

Sharon is rocked to the core when it’s revealed Joe has served his time behind bars and will be released, doing whatever it takes to get answers.

Meanwhile, Ela’s childhood friend Cat Donato (Alexandra Roach), now a journalist, is also on the hunt for answers, as she returns back to her home village and investigates the crime for an article.

The Light in the Hall’s creator and writer Regina Moriarty spoke to Metro.co.uk about the inspiration behind the six-parter and if it was based on a real crime.

Sharon can’t get closure until she finds Ela’s body (Picture: Alistair Heap)

Regina, who formerly works as a probation officer before switching to screenwriting, explained: ‘It wasn’t inspired by a particular crime. But there have been a few cases where murderers haven’t disclosed the whereabouts of the body after being convicted.

‘There have been a few cases like that, that I’ve heard about and it’s one of those things that kind of stuck in my head, because I just thought that must be the worst thing ever to know that somebody knows.

‘And also, just to not know where your loved one is, I can’t imagine it. It lodged in my brain.’

Cat is determined to find out the truth of what happened (Picture: Alistair Heap / Channel 4)

She continued: ‘It got me thinking about when criminals do come out of prison, how do you kind of cope with that? And how do you ever move on – the idea that people should perhaps not move on, but move forward and get on with their lives?

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‘Then the idea of somebody being released from prison would be like a bomb, really, in your life. And that’s where the germ of the idea came from.

‘I just thought was such an awful thing. I couldn’t imagine anything worse. And so it came from there.’

The Light in the Hall is available to stream on All4.

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