The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe: This is what happened to John and Anne Darwin's sons

19 April 2022, 13:56

Where are John and Anne Darwin's sons now and what happened to Mark and Anthony?

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If you’re anything like us, you’re probably already hooked on ITV’s brand new drama The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe.

The four-part series tells the unbelievable true story of John Darwin who came up with an elaborate plan to fake his own death in a canoe accident.

He wanted to disappear so his wife Anne could claim his life insurance and pay off their debt.

It was then up to Anne to convince the police, employers and even their own sons that John had died at sea.

Mark and Anthony Darwin attended their mum's trial
Mark and Anthony Darwin attended their mum's trial. Picture: Getty Images

Episode two sees Mark (Mark Stanley) and Anthony Darwin (Dominic Applewhite) throw wreaths out to sea in honour of their dad who they thought had died.

In later scenes, the sons are left heartbroken to find out their own parents had lied to them for more than five years.

But what happened to Mark and Anthony Darwin and where are they now? Here’s what we know…

What happened to John and Anne Darwin's sons?

When it was revealed that John and Anne Darwin had been lying, both sons appeared in court in Teesside to give evidence in their mum's trial in 2008.

Mark and Anthony threw a wreath into the sea in memory of their dad
Mark and Anthony threw a wreath into the sea in memory of their dad. Picture: ITV

They watched Anne get sent to prison for six and a half years.

While both sons have stayed out of the spotlight since their parents were sentenced, eldest son Mark has said he has struggled to forgive everything they did.

Speaking to the Daily Mail back in 2016, he said: "What I have gone through to get to a stage where I can forgive has been tough.

"It’s taken deep thought and a difficult process of accepting her faults."

While the pair have reportedly reconciled with their mother - who now lives a quiet life in York - it’s been suggested that Anthony has cut off all ties with his father.

Mark Darwin is played by Mark Stanley in The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe
Mark Darwin is played by Mark Stanley in The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe. Picture: ITV

With John now living in the Philippines with his new wife, the Daily Mail reports neither sons are in contact with him.

The show's writer, Chris Lang, has also explained how he ‘owed it’ to Mark and Anthony to tell the story properly.

He said: "We owed it to the sons, the real victims of John and Anne’s crimes, to be truthful.

"I can’t imagine a greater betrayal than a mum telling you your dad is dead when she knows he is actually still alive.

"Pretending to be grieving for five years, allowing them to grieve for five years – what would possess a mother to do that? It seems unthinkable to any parent."

It was reported earlier this year that one of the sons had 'sneaked' onto the set of The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe.

Actor Eddie Marsan, who plays John in the drama, said during a press conference: "We had no idea until a few weeks later. He had come in with a baseball cap and a Covid mask on to watch. We didn’t get any feedback."