Sheridan Smith will star in a new three-part factual drama based on the crimes of convicted English murderer Malcolm Webster.

Reece Shearsmith (The League of Gentlemen) will feature alongside Smith (The 7.39, Gavin & Stacey) in The Widower, which has been co-written by award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker Jeff Pope (Mrs Biggs).

The ITV drama takes place over a 13-year period and follows Webster, who poisons and murders his first wife before attempting to do the same to his second wife and scheming to deceive his third fiancée.

Jeff Pope, Head of Factual Drama, ITV Studios, said: "This is a quite extraordinary story, far more chilling than any fiction. Webster was a banal, almost benign face of evil.

"He was so clever at hiding his tracks and presenting a plausible front to his friends, family and colleagues that he was able to do what he did without really attracting suspicion.

"The courage and tenacity of Webster's second wife Felicity, and his last intended victim Simone, is all that stood between him and potentially more murders."