Line Of Duty’s Martin Compston to star as real-life Scottish serial killer

Martin Compston, best known for playing anti-corruption officer DS Steve Arnott in the BBC’s smash-hit drama Line Of Duty, is taking on the role of Peter Manuel for a three-part mini-series on ITV.

The Scottish actor and former professional footballer will play American-born Scottish serial killer Manuel who was convicted for the murder of seven people between 1956 and 1958. 

Martin Compston in Line Of DutyMartin Compston in Line Of Duty (Steffan Hill/BBC/World Productions)


Manuel was a petty thief by the age of 10. Six years later he committed a number of sexual attacks that resulted in a nine-year prison sentence. Manuel was later convicted of murdering seven people across Scotland between 1956 and his arrest in January 1958.

Nicknamed “the Beast of Birkenshaw” by the Scottish media, he was hanged at Glasgow’s Barlinnie Prison in 1958.

Following a hugely successful third series, Martin will also revive his portrayal of Steve Arnott for BBC One when Line Of Duty returns for its fourth series.

Douglas HenshallDouglas Henshall (Alastair Grant/AP)


Fellow Scot Douglas Henshall, who became a household name for his role as DI Jimmy Perez in BBC One’s Shetland, will play the police officer who is tasked with catching the killer.

Line Of Duty director John Strickland will direct the forthcoming mini-series, according to the Daily Mail.

Filming will begin soon in Scotland.

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