Millions of ITV fans were left scratching their heads and re-checking the TV schedules last night, when they tuned in to watch Trevor McDonald’s Fred And Rose West: The Real Story.
The documentary was due to air at 9pm on ITV on Thursday (31 January), but viewers were confused when another series was shown instead.
Instead of the much-hyped insight into the grim story of the Gloucester ‘house of horrors’, they were met with a repeat of Trevor McDonald’s Death Row – equally dark, but not what the viewers were expecting.
In fact, the Fred and Rose West documentary had been cancelled less than an hour before it was due to air.
ITV said the documentary, which was due to uncover more details about the killer couple, was dropped for “legal reasons”.
The channel said in a statement on Twitter: “Tonight’s advertised documentary has been postponed for legal reasons and the film will be scheduled for a later date.
“Instead another chance to watch Death Row with Trevor McDonald.”
The programme features exclusive interviews and insights into one of most disturbing murder cases in British criminal history – the evil couple who tortured, raped and murdered at least 12 women before burying them in their home.
The couple’s crimes took place between 1967 and 1987 – and included the prolonged abuse and eventual murder of their own daughter Heather.
Tonight's advertised documentary has been postponed for legal reasons and the film will be scheduled for a later date. Instead another chance to watch Death Row with Trevor McDonald.
— ITV (@ITV) January 31, 2019
Fans weren’t happy about the change of schedule, with one saying: “Seriously? It took you until it was supposed to be on TV for you to announce it won’t be shown?
“Surely if it’s been postponed for legal reasons, you’d have known about it before. Disappointed is an understatement.”
Another said: “Bad form ITV… Bad form. Surely you would have all of the legalities sorted well in advance of the scheduled broadcast time. Very unprofessional.”
Others said they were “fuming”, while many revealed they’d been “looking forward to watching the show all day”.
Bad form ITV…bad form. Surely you would have all of the legalities sorted well in advance of the scheduled broadcast time. Very unprofessional
— Gra (@gramarsuperstar) January 31, 2019
— Natalie (@ChambersNatalie) January 31, 2019
Is the Trevor McDonald, Fred & Rose West documentary due tonight on ITV 9pm not on now ?
— Joanna Quade (@jejquade) January 31, 2019
Why is the Fred West and Rose West storey not on ITV Trevor Mc ????
— James Tattan (@jamestattan62) January 31, 2019
See this one #ITV Wanted to watch the Fred and Rose West one
— Char (@charwild) January 31, 2019
What’s happend to Fred and rose west @ITV
— Cass (@Casstoonarmy) January 31, 2019
Why have they pulled the Fred & rose west programme?
— Debbie Humphreys (@MyNalagirl) January 31, 2019
— Palm Brown (@PalmBrown) January 31, 2019
Some fans speculated that it was in respect to the family, who had appeared on This Morning that day, others believe it’s because Rose West is appealing.
But one said: “But why now when they knew damn well it would be on TV about it. Yes it will still be painful for the families but shouldn’t the next generation know about the dangers of people like these evil monsters?”
Rose, a mother of eight, is said to be appealing her sentence as she doesn’t want to die in jail.
The killer, 65, was found guilty of murdering 10 young women and children at her home in Gloucester alongside her husband Fred West in 1995.
She has continued to maintain her innocence, claiming only her husband was involved in the killings.
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