Katherine Kelly reveals why she’s fronting new documentary series Murdertown and shares the funny phone message Simon Gregson left her

Katherine Kelly became a household name as Coronation Street’s Becky McDonald, and since leaving the cobbles in 2012, she has enjoyed high-profile roles in Happy Valley, The Night Manager and Mr Selfridge. Next week, however, she’s fronting 10-part documentary series Murdertown, which looks at real-life murder cases from across the UK.

Here Katherine Kelly, 38, reveals more about Murdertown and Simon Gregson’s funny phone message…

Do you still stay in touch with your Corrie co-stars?

Katherine Kelly: “Yes! After working together for five years you become really close. I’m currently filming ITV drama Cheat playing a university lecturer. Simon Gregson [Steve McDonald in Coronation Street] left me a message the other day saying ‘I’m just phoning to make sure that you’ve not got posh!’”

Katherine filming Cheat

Katherine filming Cheat

Why have you made this move from drama into documentary?

KK: “At first when I was asked to do this [Murdertown] I thought they’d got the wrong person! Once I spoke to the producers they explained that they wanted a storyteller as opposed to a presenter. Narration is something I’m used to but, instead of this being pure voice over, I’m on screen as well. I’m myself, in the car, driving, but it definitely doesn’t feel like a presenting role.”

What makes Murdertown gripping viewing?

KK: “Documentaries are having a renaissance. They’re found gripping ways of telling these stories. I was impressed with the integrity of Murdertown. It isn’t sensational in the telling and that’s avoided because they’ve chosen ten specific towns [from Dundee to Brighton] and really dig into the facts. They’re all closed cases, and it really gets to the core of the people involved. Many of the cases will get under your skin. If they were in a drama no one would believe them.”

Why are we so fascinated by real life crime?

KK: “As much as we don’t like to think about it, these things do happen around us, on the same street sometimes. To take another human being’s life seems unthinkable to the majority of us. So people who have it in them to do that fascinate us. In the Murdertown cases you see there’s no formula. There are a broad spectrum of motivations.”

Murdertown starts on Crime & Investigation on Monday 3rd September at 9pm.

Katherine Kelly Cheat pic: Geoff Robinson Photography/REX/Shutterstock