Mirror HQ recreates for new ITV drama ‘Canoe Man’ about John Darwin’s return from the dead

To exclude, to expel:

The four-part TV series, The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe, tells the astonishing story of con man John Darwin who faked his death at sea in 2002.

Mirror London headquarters reimagined in new ITV drama The Thief
Mirror London headquarters reimagined in new ITV drama The Thief

The Mirror has a lead role in the TV series based on the life of ‘Canoe Man’, with our Canary Wharf office recreated for the show.

The ITV 4-part drama series, The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe, tells the incredible story of con man John Darwin.

The warden faked his death at sea in 2002 so his wife Anne could claim more than £500,000 in life insurance benefits.

The show is based on the book by David Leigh, the former Mirror man, who can be seen in Panama in the opening scenes. The show depicts Darwin’s time in hiding – in a room behind a closet in the marital home in Seaton Carew, Co Durham, then living in Panama for five years before turning himself in to the police.

A visa problem prompts him to return to the UK, before the Mirror’s infamous front page photo exposes their scam.

Mirror’s HQ recreated for the show



The couple can be seen posing in a real estate agent’s office in Panama, in 2006, before they moved there from the UK.

Darwin insisted he suffered from “amnesia”, while Anne told the Mirror she thought he was dead – a lie she told her sons Mark, 37, and Anthony, 34.

Our East London office was shown when news editor Tony Harwood told David he had to keep Anne informed. Other iconic front pages, including Tony Blair’s 1997 election victory, can also be seen on the wall.

David said: “That picture from Panama is proof that the Darwins lies.

The movie is based on the life of “Canoe Man”



“It is clear evidence that Anne lied about her husband’s fake death to everyone she loved, not to mention the police and insurance companies.

“It’s a scoop and it’s unbelievable to be an integral part of an exciting story that is making front page headlines day in and day out.

“But it’s very emotional to watch someone’s life fall apart before your eyes.

“When I showed her the picture, Anne was sobbing. She kept repeating, ‘What have I done? The boys will never forgive me’. John, 71, and Anne, 69, were jailed for more than six years for fraud in 2008, and divorced in prison.

The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe



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He now lives in the Philippines with his second wife Mercy Mae, 48, while Anne lives in Yorkshire.

Darwin was described by Eddie Marsan, who played him, as an “imaginary man”. He said: “He was under the illusion of greatness. He thinks he can outrun everyone.”

Monica Dolan, who plays Anne, thinks her defense of marital coercion is perhaps more sympathetic than it is today.

She said: “John treated her badly, but she stayed with him.”

Do you have a story to sell? Contact us at webcelebs@mirror.co.uk or call us directly on 0207 29 33033.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/mirrors-headquarters-recreated-new-itv-26652414 Mirror HQ recreates for new ITV drama 'Canoe Man' about John Darwin's return from the dead

Fry Electronics Team

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