The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe: Anne Darwin is 'not enjoying' ITV drama

20 April 2022, 10:23 | Updated: 20 April 2022, 11:07

Anne Darwin has said she will be happy when The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe is over.

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If you’re anything like us, you’re probably totally hooked on The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe.

The four-part ITV drama tells the true story of John Darwin, who tried to fake his own death in a bid to claim on his life insurance and pay off his debt.

His wife Anne was then left to convince the police, coroner and even their own sons that John had died at sea in his canoe.

It is based on a book written by journalist David Leigh, who was the first person to interview Anne while she was still in Panama.

Anne Darwin is 'not enjoying' The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe
Anne Darwin is 'not enjoying' The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe. Picture: Alamy

And after the success of the show, David appeared on This Morning, where he told Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield how Anne had responded to the drama.

He explained that Anne often says she “doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about” and often asks why there is still so much interest.

“She obviously wishes this wasn’t happening but accepts she played a role in it and understands, to a degree, the fascination from the public,” he said.

“This story has been running now for 15 years and on it goes, so I think she’ll be happy when it’s over and she can get on with her life and spend time with the boys.”

Anne Darwin wrote a book about her experiences
Anne Darwin wrote a book about her experiences. Picture: Alamy

David went on to speak about building an unlikely friendship with Anne, as he continued: “She was being disowned by everybody and she was in my care. I didn’t want anything to happen to her.

“It’s unusual to have a friendship with someone who you write a story about, but I wrote to her, gave her all the encouragement I could, and went to visit her.”

Anne’s sons Mark and Anthony originally disowned their parents after it was revealed they had lied, but have since reconciled with their mum.

“The boys went through hell, but what I say to people is, if they can forgive her then what does it matter what anyone else thinks?,” David said.

Eddie Marson and Monica Dolan play John and Anne Darwin in The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe
Eddie Marson and Monica Dolan play John and Anne Darwin in The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe. Picture: ITV

“Anne now has both boys back in her life. She has her four grandchildren. She lives a very quiet and anonymous existence.

“She’s obviously not enjoying this very much.”

Anne was sentenced to six years and six months in prison for fraud and money-laundering, while John was sentenced to six years.

While in prison, Anne decided to separate from her husband and she was released in March 2011.

At the time, the Crown Prosecution Service announced that £500k in life insurance and pension payouts received by Anne had been recovered.

Anne released a book in 2016 called Out of My Depth, which told the story from her point of view.