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Netflix announces Jill Dando documentary

The 37-year-old former Crimewatch presenter was one of the BBC’s highest-profile stars when she was murdered.

Presenter Jill Dando on Crimewatch
Presenter Jill Dando on Crimewatch

The life and death of BBC broadcaster Jill Dando will be documented in an upcoming series, Netflix has announced.

The 37-year-old former Crimewatch presenter, one of the BBC’s highest-profile stars, was shot outside her home in Fulham, west London, on April 26 1999.

In a multi-part series currently in production, her life will be chronicled with a mix of archive, new research and interviews.

Netflix said it will focus on “Dando’s life, career, legacy and what would become one of the most notorious unsolved murders of the 20th century”.

The documentary is directed by Marcus Plowright, known for Fred And Rose West: Reopened and executive produced by Emma Cooper, who worked on The Mystery Of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes.

Dando’s former colleague and Crimewatch presenter Nick Ross campaigned for the Jill Dando Institute (JDI) of Crime Science at University College London in her memory.

The JDI offers courses aimed at police, community safety partnership analysts, researchers and information officers as well as teaching undergraduate and post-graduate programmes and researching how to stop crime.

Nick Ross Dandi Institute
Former BBC Crimewatch presenter Nick Ross before launching the Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science (PA)

When Ross collected a CBE at Windsor Castle in February 2022, he dedicated the honour to Dando and paid tribute to his “utterly committed” late co-host.

He said: “She was, I think like me and like other people involved in the show, changed by meeting more and more of the victims. But she was utterly committed to the show.”

Ross said the programme’s success in its prime was partly due to his “wonderful co-presenter”.

Outside of her work on Crimewatch, Dando was also seen during the 1980s and 1990s on BBC shows including travel show Holiday and The Antiques Inspectors.

She began as a reporter at her local paper The Weston Mercury in Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, before moving to the morning programme Breakfast Time, which later became BBC Breakfast.

Barry George was arrested on suspicion of murder in 2000, a year after Dando was killed.

He was convicted and imprisoned for eight years, then acquitted and released after a retrial.

The Jill Dando documentary will be on Netflix in 2023.

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