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'Deceit': C4 Rachel Nickell drama release date confirmed, plot, cast, and more

Niamh Algar is 'Lizzie James'
Niamh Algar is 'Lizzie James' in Deceit (Image credit: C4)

Deceit is a harrowing 4-part C4 series that focuses on the controversial honeytrap at the centre of the investigation into the tragic murder of 23-year-old Rachel Nickell in 1992.

The crime drama, which has access to unheard audio, video, and written materials, takes viewers on a powerful behind-the-scenes insight into one of the most ill-conceived police investigations in the UK which saw Colin Stagg being wrongly charged with the murder.

The series is written by Emilia di Girolamo, who also penned Law & Order UK. Talking about Deceit, the Head of Channel 4 Drama, Caroline Hollick said: “The unique female perspective of Emilia’s extraordinary scripts, alongside the stellar performances of our cast, combined with Story Films’ trademark journalistic rigor create a truly sensitive, nuanced and incredibly powerful 4-part drama that we are incredibly proud of.”

Deceit release date

Deceit will be a 4-part series, with each episode an hour long and will start on Friday 13 August at 9pm. The show will also be available to watch on All4.

Deceit plot and cast

The plot revolves around the controversial honeytrap at the centre of the investigation into the murder of Rachel Nickell in 1992.

While, in their eyes, the evidence points to Colin Stagg (played by Keeping Faith’s Sion Daniel Young), who was first identified as a suspect through a BBC Crimewatch appeal, the police find themselves still no closer to capturing the person they’re convinced is responsible after five months.

Getting increasingly desperate, Detective Inspector Keith Pedder (The Crown’s Harry Treadaway) strikes up a plan with the nation’s most famous criminal profiler, Paul Britton (Ray Donovan’s Eddie Marsan). 

They decide on a big undercover operation that will see a young female officer start a relationship with Colin Stagg.

Meanwhile, “Lizzie James” (The Virtues star Niamh Algar) is an ambitious officer rising through the ranks. She quickly becomes one of a few undercover female officers deployed in a secret operation team. 

And then “Lizzie” is offered the chance to be part of the Colin Stagg operation…

Is there a trailer?

There is currently no trailer out for Deceit, but we'll post one here as soon as it's released!

Grace Morris

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides for must-watch shows and the latest TV news. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film, and TV grow stronger.


Some of her favourite TV shows are Line of Duty, Fresh Meat, The Great British Bake Off, and Gogglebox. In her spare time, Grace likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series!