Des ended on ITV last night with heartbreaking information about Dennis Nilsen‘s victims and a list of those he is known to have killed.
The true-crime drama, starring David Tennant as the Scottish serial killer, was roundly praised by viewers as it concluded last night (Wednesday, September 16).
What happened at the end of Des on ITV?
But a number of those watching were annoyed at the end when an ITV announcer cut in during a solemn tribute to the young men whom Nilsen murdered.
In the penultimate scene, DCI Peter Jay (Daniel Mays) and biographer Brian Masters (Jason Watkins) took a last look over Nilsen’s empty flat.
They wondered what would happen to it, given its gruesome link with the killings.
The programme then cut to Masters on a visit to Nilson in prison. The latter argued that Masters’ book, Killing For Company, should have simply been called Nilsen.
But the writer argued: “I’m not going to call it Nilsen. This isn’t your book. It’s not about you. It’s about how someone like you came to be… make no mistake, this isn’t a celebration, it’s a warning.”
After, some information popped up on screen. Viewers were told that Masters’ book was released in 1985 to critical acclaim – and that he continued to visit the killer in prison for 10 years.
Those watching also learned that DCI Jay left the force two years later and died in 2018.
Another message on screen then read: “Nilsen was never charged with the attempted murder of Carl Stottor or the murder of Graham Allen. In 2006, using DNA evidence, Nilsen’s first victim was named as Stephen Holmes. He was 14 years old.”
The show also explained that investigators have identified just eight victims.
When the programme wrapped up last night, an ITV announcer started speaking before the list of names had left the screen.
What did Des viewers say about the announcer?
A number of those watching felt it was ‘disrespectful’ and said they should have at least waited until after.
One said on Twitter: “Could they not have let those men’s names hold our attention for a few seconds without the continuity announcer crashing in? #Des.”
Another tweeted: “Just finished watching. @ITV I can’t believe the lack of respect on that! It’s like the lights coming on as soon as a film in the cinema finishes. We needed a silence at the end.”
A third fumed: “Happens all the time. So annoying.”
I can’t believe the lack of respect on that! It’s like the lights coming on as soon as a film in the cinema finishes.
Someone else wrote: “Sorry but the #itv announcer should not have just talked over the names of the murdered at the end of #des.”
A fifth said: “The continuity announcer should not have started speaking whilst the victim’s names were still on the screen. It could have waited a moment @itv #des.”
“Why did the announcer talk when the list of victims was on the screen?” demanded another. “Very disrespectful. Brilliant production, congratulations to all involved, fantastic performances from all the cast.”
“ITV: ‘It’s respectful to remember the victims’ names… I know, let’s put them on the screen but then have the continuity announcer talk all over them’,” said one viewer.
One angry tweet read: “[Bleeping] useless #ITV. #Des ruined by continuity announcer.”
ED! contacted ITV for comment.
— Tina Crawford (@Tobyboo) September 16, 2020
Happens all the time. So annoying
— TV Gold (@TVGold_7_7_7) September 16, 2020
— Anna (@AscotAnna) September 16, 2020
— Bella (@ziabell) September 16, 2020
Why did the announcer talk when the list of victims was on the screen? Very disrespectful.
Brilliant production, congratulations to all involved, fantastic performances from all the cast
— Lancashire Lass🐝 (@Januarygirl1946) September 16, 2020
ITV: It's respectful to remember the victims' names….I know, let's put them on the screen but then have the continuity announcer talk all over them."#des
— 😷 (@AzureDoo) September 16, 2020
‘Heartbreaking’ end to ITV’s Des
Viewers were nevertheless hugely positive about the actual programme. A number found the ending to Des particularly moving.
“That was brilliant, but so chilling to watch,” one said. “Seeing the victims’ names at the end (the youngest being 14!) was really heartbreaking and moving #Des.”
Another said: “Reading his first victim was 14 literally made my hairs stand on end.”
“#Des the end was so chilling…14 years old…” someone else tweeted, using a broken-heart emoji.
That was brilliant but so chilling to watch 😰 Seeing the victim’s names at the end (the youngest being 14!!!! 😢) was really heartbreaking and moving 😢 #Des
— Laura Davidson (@lovelylaurajd) September 16, 2020
#Des reading his first victim was 14 literally made my hairs stand on end 😧
— Leanne Collins (@Leannecollins89) September 16, 2020
#Des the end was so chilling…14 years old…💔
— younnnggg midoriyaaaaaa (@casasupernova) September 17, 2020
– Des is available to stream now on ITV Hub
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