David Tennant explains how he prepared for the role of Dennis Nilsen in #Des

DES will be arriving on ITV on September 14 and the three-part drama stars David Tennant as Dennis Nilsen. How did Tennant prepare to play the role of a serial killer?

PUBLISHED: 20:14, Wed, Sep 9, 2020 | UPDATED: 20:14, Wed, Sep 9, 2020

Des is a new drama series coming to ITV, which tells the story of the conviction of serial murderer, Dennis Nilsen. Nilsen was known for murdering a number of young men in the 1980s, and he was charged with six counts of murder, and two of attempted murder. Actor David Tennant spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk and other media about how he prepared for such a challenging role.

How did David Tennant prepare to play Dennis Nilsen?

Des is a dramatisation of the trial and conviction of Dennis Nilsen, who was arrested after police discovered human remains in a drain outside his home.

Fans will see at the start of the series that Nilsen, as he did in real life, is open with the officers about the murders and he assists them with the investigation.

He developed a hunger for the limelight the real Nilsen described himself as being more famous than David Beckham when his trial was ongoing.

In the series he admitted to being a "monster" and explains how the victim's families need justice to be served.

Tennant said he was 12 years old when Nilsen was arrested, and it was a household name across the UK.

READ MORE: Des on ITV: Where is Dennis Nilsen now?

Des on ITV: David TennantDes on ITV: David Tennant as Dennis Nilsen (Image: ITV)

Des on ITV: Dennis Nilsen and Brian MastersDes on ITV: David Tennant and Jason Watkins (Image: ITV)

Des ITV: Who was Dennis Nilsen?

Speaking to Express.co.uk and other media, he said: "I had read the book many years before.

"A couple of people had said 'he looks a bit like you' and I started investigating this.

"I think this is unfathomable, what is the psychology to have this double life he was leading?"

Speaking about how he prepared for the role, he said he had watched videos of Nilsen and studied his mannerisms.

He said: "It’s tricky to get the balance right, we wanted to tell it with appropriateness and with sensitivity.

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