The Pembrokeshire Murders: What worried Keith Allen about playing killer John Cooper?

The Pembrokeshire Murders: ITV release thrilling trailer

The Pembrokeshire Murders will start tomorrow night, Monday, January 11, on ITV. The true life mini-series is about how a Welsh police department managed to find and imprison serial killer John Cooper two decades after he committed two double murders. At the time, the Dyfed Powys police force had these unsolved crimes hanging over their heads until a new Detective Superintendent was introduced.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers from The Pembrokeshire Murders.

When Steve Wilkins (played by Luke Evans) was promoted, one of the first things he did was re-open the cases of the double murders in the 1980s, believing they could be linked.

After years of unanswered questions, forensics showed there was DNA evidence which linked them to John Cooper (Steve Allen), someone who was already in prison for a string of burglaries.

Cooper later became known as the Bullseye Killer as he made an appearance on the popular game show.

Clips from the TV show were then used in comparison to a sketch of the suspect connected to one of the killings.

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What worried actor Keith Allen about playing serial killer John Cooper?

Portraying the killer Cooper himself is 67-year-old actor Keith Allen.

He has been in films such as Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Trainspotting, Eddie the Eagle, Shallow Grave and The Others.

Allen is also known for being the father of singer-songwriter Lily Allen, who recently got married to Stranger Things actor David Harbour.

Even though he has years of experience working on various films and television series, Allen was concerned about one aspect in particular when it came to playing Cooper.

Allen is a Welsh-English actor, as he was one of three children born in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, Wales.

Despite his heritage though, Allen didn’t feel initially comfortable when it came down to doing the Welsh accent needed for the role.

Speaking to press, including Express.co.uk, Allen said: “I was very worried about the accent interestingly enough.

“I used to work in Tenby which is very close, when I was young, I used to run the boats down there every year so I knew Tenby, I knew it very well.

“But I thought – I’m one of those actors whose bone idle, I don’t do any research – but in this case, I really felt that I had to.

“I’d seen the Bullseye thing and actors do all sorts of tricks to remind themselves of how they are supposed to speak.

And my go-to trigger was him on Bullseye when he went: ‘oh yes, scuba diving.’

“‘What? ‘scuba diving’. Does he speak like that, seriously, surely not?’

“And in fact he had a very odd way of speaking and I thought I had to go down there [to Tenby] and check this out.”

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Allen continued: “So I went down there on a Sunday, with a view to just sitting in various pubs or whatever, a cafe or something, and just listening to people talk in that area.

“It was a Sunday and it was full of Manks, scousers, people from Birmingham, it was every accent in the world, all in these pubs watching Sky Sports!

“So what I did was I drove out to where he lived, where his house was and I thought ‘OK, I’ll kind of walk around the area’ you know, because I knew about his rat runs and the rest of it.

“And then I went back to Tenby which is far more sedate and listened to some people talk there and it kind of reminded me and got me in the groove.”

The Pembrokeshire Murders star also explained how there is no “glorification” in the drama, making it as realistic as possible.

Allen added: “I’ve seen it and what I really, really like about it, is that there’s no weird lighting, there is no weird sound effects.

“It is very, very, very realistic, in your face, to the point of really making you think ‘oh God, is that what these people did?’

“And I think the victims, especially those who were young kids at the time, when they see that I think there’ll be a sense of ‘good, at least the world knows our suffering now’.

“There was no glorification in what happened in that case at all and that is testament to both director and producer but also the cameraman.

“The way they lit it, it’s muted, there’s nothing exciting about it.

“All the excitement is what’s captured…in the chase.”

The Pembrokeshire Murders starts tomorrow, Monday, January 11, at 9pm on ITV.

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