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Viewers Praise Stephen Merchant's 'Creepy' Performance As Grindr Killer Stephen Port

Claire Reid

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Viewers Praise Stephen Merchant's 'Creepy' Performance As Grindr Killer Stephen Port

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Viewers have been left feeling seriously unsettled by Stephen Merchant’s portrayal of serial killer Stephen Port in BBC drama Four Lives

The new three-part series centres on the horrendous crimes of Port - also known as the Grindr killer - who serving life in prison for drugging, raping and killing four men he met on the dating app. 

Port, 46, killed Anthony Walgate, 23, Gabriel Kovari, 22, Daniel Whitworth, 21, and Jack Taylor, 25, and callously dumped their bodies near his home in Barking, London. 

Credit: Met Police
Credit: Met Police

Last year, the BBC announced it was producing a drama about the crimes, starring Merchant and Sheridan Smith.

In a statement, the BBC said the ‘factual drama will go beneath the headlines to shed new light on this story by telling it from the point of view of the families of Stephen Port's victims, focusing on their fight to uncover the truth about what had happened to their lost sons and brothers in the face of a now widely criticised police investigation'.

The first part aired on BBC 1 last night and viewers were left feeling creeped out by Merchant’s transformation into the killer. 

Credit:  BBC
Credit: BBC

Posting on Twitter, one viewer said: “Watched Four Lives last night, TV drama at its best, unbelievable acting from Stephen Merchant, but what a sad story.”

Another wrote: “Stephen Merchant has done a great job of looking sinister as f**k on Four Lives.”

While someone else commented: “Watched Four Lives in one fell swoop last night and Stephen Merchant’s performance gave me actual nightmares. So heartbreaking- a brilliant watch.”

A fourth person praised Merchant, writing: “It is SO good. Stephen Merchant is fantastic - creepy, sinister, scary looking. What an awful true story this is, heartbreaking for the families.”

Someone else tweeted: “Chilling performance from Stephen Merchant.”

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

Merchant, who is better known for his comedy roles, has previously said it was a ‘privilege’ to be involved with telling this story. 

Merchant said: "This is a story that can't be ignored - how four young lives were lost and their families' brave attempt to uncover what happened.

"This factual drama will shed light on their story, so it's a privilege to be a part of telling it with the brilliant combination of Jeff Pope, Neil McKay and the BBC."

The second episode of Four Lives airs tonight on BBC1 at 9pm or you can watch them all on iPlayer now.

Topics: TV and Film

Claire Reid
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