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Lucan on ITV: What happened to Lord Lucan and where have there been sightings of him?

Controversial figure explored in repeat of drama Lucan

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TV drama Lucan is airing again on ITV, prompting us to wonder again what happened to Lord Lucan.

The series follows the story of Richard John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan, who shocked the country when he vanished after he was accused of murdering his children’s nanny.

The show was originally released on ITV in December 2013.

lucan itv drama
Lucan is airing again on ITV (Credit: ITV)

What is the ITV drama Lucan about?

In 1974, Lord Lucan (Rory Kinnear) has a large number of gambling debts and his marriage is falling apart.

As a result, he grows obsessed with recovering the custody of his children.

With the help of John Aspinall (Christopher Eccleston), he attempts to undermine the sanity of his wife Lady Veronica Lucan (Catherine McCormack).

However, his efforts go unrewarded.

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Weeks later, the Lucan family’s nanny Sandra Rivett (Leanne Best) is found brutally murdered in the basement of their house.

It becomes the last time Lord Lucan is ever heard from.

On the same evening, Lady Veronica Lucan runs into a nearby pub claiming she has escaped the murderer who killed their nanny.

lucan itv drama
The drama caused controversy when it first aired (Credit: ITV)

How many episodes are in the series?

The ITV drama is a two-part special.

It stars plenty of talented British actors that include Christopher Eccleston, Rory Kinnear, Alistair Petrie, Paul Freeman, Rupert Evans, Catherine McCormack, Michael Gambon, Gemma Jones and Leanne Best.

When it originally aired, the show sparked some controversy.

The son of Sandra Rivett accused ITV of “profiting” from his mother’s shocking murder.

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As a result, some critics agreed, with The Independent suggesting the drama should have never been made.

“The real story is the brutal death of Sandra Rivett and there was something wrong about the way she was reduced to a bit part in her own tale,” read the review at the time.

“Lucan was a brilliantly acted, cleverly scripted and beautifully shot drama. I’m not sure it should have ever been made.”

What happened to Lord Lucan?

That’s the million-dollar question and there have been dozens of ‘sightings’ over the years.

The first was in January 1975, in Melbourne, Australia. Months later, there were reports in Cherbourg and St Malo, France.

Police in Cape Town, South Africa, even examined finger prints on a glass after Lucan was ‘spotted’ drinking from it.

The most elaborate theory is that he moved to India and became a hippy known as Jungle Barry!

More recently, the search has moved to New Zealand and Africa where, his brother claims, he fled after the murder.

There have been sightings of Lord Lucan as recently as 2020.

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