The Light in the Hall creator explains decision to write shocking Sharon Roberts fire scene


Iwan Rheon, Alexandra Roach and Joanna Scanlan star in The Light in the Hall(Picture: Channel 4)

*Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Light in the Hall*

The Light in the Hall is Channel 4’s gripping new crime drama which follows Sharon Roberts (Joanna Scanlan) haunted by the past.

Some 18 years previously, her daughter Ela (Ella Peel) disappeared from a Welsh village, with quiet gardener Joe Pritchard (Iwan Rheon) confessing to her murder.

But despite owning up to the killing, Joe has no relocation of the events surrounding Ela’s death, including where her body is, a fact that has taunted Sharon for the past two decades.

After serving his time behind bars, Joe is released back to his hometown, but as well as Sharon, who will stop at nothing to find answers, dogged journalist Cat Donato (Alexandra Roach) is now on his case.

What they both discover will untangle a web of lies and mystery and shed a whole new light on Ela’s disappearance.

Joanna Scanlan plays grieving mother Sharon Roberts (Picture: Alistair Heap)

Among the new truths uncovered is Joe’s real nature, which is no more shown at the end of episode 4 when he runs into Sharon’s burning home in an attempt to save her.

Destroyed by grief, after an argument with her second daughter Greta (Annes Elwy), Sharon hits the bottle hard and lights a cigarette, before accidentally sending her home up in flames.

At the end of the episode, having made it to the front door, both Joe and Sharon are knocked unconscious by the smoke, with Joe having risked his life save Sharon’s.

Cat Donato is a tenacious journalist who revisit her childhood village to investigate Ela’s disappearance (Picture: Alistair Heap / Channel 4)

Speaking to Metro.co.uk, The Light in the Hall’s creator and writer Regina Moriarty explained the decision to include the scene in the six-part drama.

When asked if it had been included to hint to the viewers’ minds Joe may not be guilty of murdering Ela, she replied: ‘Yes, it was to show that perhaps he is different and little bit more to him than the man Sharon thought he was. T

‘I suppose there was a certain amount of humanising [to show that] you could be one person and also have other facets to you. He was a hero, I guess, in that moment.’

The Light in the Hall is Regina Moriarty’s brainchild (Picture: Shutterstock)

Regina previously told Metro.co.uk that The Light in the Hall wasn’t based on one specific crime or a true story.

She 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.

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‘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.’

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

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