New BBC drama Four Lives, which aired earlier this week and is currently on iPlayer, tells the story of the four men killed by Stephen Port: Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor, and their families and friends who worked tirelessly to find out what happened to them.
Written by Neil McKay and based on extensive research and multiple sources, the cast includes Stephen Merchant, Sheridan Smith, Jaime Winstone, Samuel Barnett, Rufus Jones, Robert Emms, Daniel Ryan, Stephanie Hyam and Leanne Best.
But though the series is set in East London and Hull, and was initially announced with the working title of The Barking Murders, Greater Manchester viewers have spotted some locations closer to home.
Is that Swinton #FourLives
— Salfordmanda (@Salfordmanda) January 3, 2022
Donna Taylor, the mother of fourth victim Jack Taylor, who is portrayed in the drama, said that she visited the set in Manchester during filming.
“We went to Manchester to see them film a scene,” she told the Sunday People in an interview.
“Jaime (Winstone) was acting out me and my family outside the Old Bailey.”
Salford viewers have also recognised Swinton Shopping Centre, Wyndham Avenue, Clifton Street, St. Peter’s Church and more.
Known as the ‘Grindr killer’, Stephen targeted his victims online through gay dating sites and invited them back to his East London flat where he drugged, raped and killed them.
He received a life sentence with a whole life order in November 2016.
An inquest into the four deaths concluded in December 2021, with the jury ruling that failings by the Met Police contributed to the deaths of Port’s final three victims.
Did anyone see Four Lives last week? If so, is there anyone on here from Barking who are wondering why they didn't recognise a single area where the Barking scenes were meant to be shot? They were shot over 200-300 miles away that's why – around Eccles & Swinton & M/cr.
— Ginny Hadfield (@Sophthecatsmum) January 7, 2022
Jeff Pope and Neil McKay previously worked together on The Moorside, which told the story of the community impacted by the disappearance of Shannon Matthews; and Appropriate Adult, which looked at the story of serial killer Fred West from the point of view of trainee social worker Janet Leach.
The pair have a reputation for factual drama based on detailed research that focuses not on the crime itself, but those affected by the events, whose perspective gives a fresh eye on these important news stories.
“Four young men with their entire future ahead of them lost their lives in a brutal and tragic way,” said Neil back in 2019 before filming commenced.
“This is a story not only of the consequences of that loss but also of the extraordinary courage and resilience shown by those who loved them as they sought truth and justice.
“It is a privilege to be able to tell it.”
All three episodes of Four Lives are currently available on BBC iPlayer.