The Hunt for Raoul Moat: ITV screenwriter explains why Paul Gascoigne doesn’t appear in new true crime show

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Gascoigne infamously showed up to the stand off between Moat and the police 13 years ago - here, his absence from the ITV show is explained

The creative forces behind ITV’s latest three part true crime drama ‘The Hunt for Raoul Moat’ have explained why the real life bizarre attendance of football legend Paul Gascoigne at the fatal stand-off between Moat and police 13 years ago did not feature in the drama series which first aired on Sunday night (April 16).

In 2010, a major operation was carried out across Tyne and Wear and Northumberland after Raoul Moat, a former nightclub bouncer went on a horrifying shooting spree in the area. He shot his ex-girlfriend, killed her new partner and blinded police officer David Rathband.

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During a standoff between Moat and police, ex-football Paul Gascoignearrived on the scene, claiming he and Moat were ‘good friends’.

Despite making headlines and becoming one of the most commonly talked about events from the heartbreaking ordeal, screenwriter Kevin Sampson said that he felt it distracted from the crime itself, deciding to omit the bizarre event all together.

Sampson explained: "When we started researching and planning this, everybody that I reached out to who was not intimately involved, the first thing they’d say is, ‘Oh, the one where Gazza turned up with his fishing rods.’

"That absolutely undermines and trivialises the tragedy of what really happened. If there is one mission statement for this drama, it really is to challenge people to think again, to re-evaluate the way they look back on these events."

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Executive producer Jake Lushington echoed that: "We talked it through. For us, the story we’re talking about is the story of Raoul Moat, his crimes, his victims and the efforts to bring him to justice.

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"Now obviously, there was a surprise, brief and not so successful intervention by somebody who was very, very, very famous. I think it was odd in a lot of people’s minds that this was happening, bizarre. It became a sort of big story of the time.”

ITV

If you missed the first episode of the three-part true crime drama, you can watch it now on ITVX. The other two episodes will be aired on ITV on Monday April 17 and Tuesday April 18 at 9pm.. There is also a follow-up documentary, Manhunt: The Raoul Moat Story on Wednesday, April 19 at 9pm on ITV.

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