Gerry, Kate and Madeleine McCann
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News of the World phone-hacking scandal made into ITV drama Thank You & Goodbye

The family of Madeleine McCann were targeted, as well as hundreds of others

The infamous News of the World phone-hacking scandal will be the focus of a new ITV drama.

The upcoming series will chart the true story of when News International was exposed for hacking the phones of hundreds of unsuspecting people.

These included the families of Madeleine McCann and the-missing teenager Milly Dowler, who was subsequenly found murdered.

Here’s everything you need to know about the TV drama, from the makers of Des.

Milly Dowler Credit: YouTube
Milly Dowler is a tragic victim (Credit: YouTube)

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What was the phone-hacking scandal?

The News International phone-hacking scandal was exposed in 2011, leaving the British public horrified.

The newspaper had hired a private investigator to hack the voicemail of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

The subsequent investigation resulted in multiple arrests.

It also led to the Leveson inquiry into the ethical practices of the British press.

As a result, Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson resigned.

The Sunday tabloid newspaper closed.

The scandal recently featured in the BBC documentary The Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty.

Celebrities including Jade Goody, Nigella Lawson, Joanna Lumley, George Michael and Prince William were all hacked.

Jade Goody
Jade Goody and her mum Jackiey Budden were hacked when Jade was dying of cancer (Credit: C4)

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What is the phone-hacking ITV drama about?

Luke Neal is writing a major TV series about the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.

The writer Luke Neal is the man behind award-winning Des.

The drama will be entitled Thank You & Goodbye, after the final headline printed by the paper.

Luke Neal said: “I am thrilled to [help] create a series about what I consider to be one of the most important moral crossroads of our generation.

“I believe by exploring – without judgement or sensationalism – the human nature of the people who contributed to this gross abuse of power.

“We try to understand how and why they did this. It’s the only true way to stop this happening it again.”

Who will direct Thank You & Goodbye?

The drama will be directed by Saul Dibb, the BAFTA-nominated director of BBC drama The Salisbury Poisonings.

It will tell the inside story of the hacking scandal from the perspective of the journalists and private investigators involved.

Saul says: “This is simply one of the most important, gripping and richest stories of this century.

“And yet we still don’t know even half of what really went on.

“I’m so excited we’re able to tell it all for the first time in dramatic form, and from the point of view of the people at the heart of it.

“The band of so-called ‘rogue reporters’ who then blew the whistle on those that had instructed them and the industry at large.”

Teddy says: “The story of the phone-hacking scandal becomes more relevant every day.”

He says that key players in the scandal continue to take up positions of influence.

Nigella Lawson
Nigella Lawson was a victim of the NOTW phone hackers (Credit: BBC One)

Who will star in phone-hacking ITV drama?

The cast of Thank You & Goodbye has not yet been announced.

But we’re expecting big things from this team.

Surely some of the UK’s best actors will be lining up to take part?!

Where is Andy Coulson now?

Andy Coulson was the editor of the News of the World from 2003 until his resignation in 2007.

He subsequently joined David Cameron’s personnel as communications director, until announcing his departure on 21 January 2011.

After his arrest, a jury found him guilty of a charge of conspiracy to intercept voicemails.

He spent 18 months in HMP Belmarsh prison.

Andy now runs a successful strategy business.

Thank You & Goodbye is expected to air in 2022 on ITV1.

Would you want to watch Thank You & Goodbye about the phone-hacking scandal? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

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