ITV’s true-crime detective drama Manhunt, starring Martin Clunes, is returning for a second season.

The first three-part series, broadcast in 2019, followed the investigation into the murder of French student Amélie Delagrange, and the hunt and subsequent arrest of serial killer Levi Bellfield.

Clunes reprises his role as real-life Metropolitan Police Senior Investigating Officer Colin Sutton in the sequel, subtitled The Night Stalker.

Like the first season, Manhunt II adapts Sutton’s memoirs to tell the real-life story of a police investigation – this time the pursuit of a notorious burglar and rapist in South London.

Manhunt II: The Night Stalker - How we turned true crime into gripping drama

What is the true story behind Manhunt II?

Manhunt II: The Night Stalker is the real-life story of the police pursuit of notorious serial rapist Delroy Grant, whose 17-year reign of terror left thousands of elderly people in south east London living in fear.

Unlike the investigation into the murder of Delagrange portrayed in the first series of Manhunt, which Sutton led from the beginning, The Night Stalker explores how the detective, coming late to the inquiry, helped solve it in a matter of weeks.

Martin Clunes in Manhunt ITV

After his eventual arrest, Grant was linked to more than 200 incidents across London, Kent and Surrey between 1992 and 2009. Targeting only lone, elderly women, the oldest in her 90s, Grant would break into his victims’ homes and disconnect the electricity and the phone lines before sexually assaulting or raping his victims.

One of the reasons why Grant remained at large for so long was his apparent double-life: this church-going family man took care of his sick wife by day, before committing his unspeakable crimes by night.

The Met’s Operation Minstead, set up in 1998 to investigate the crimes, remains the largest and most complex rape investigation ever undertaken by the force.

Who is in the Manhunt II cast?

Martin Clunes – DCI Colin Sutton

Martin Clunes in Manhunt ITV

Clunes will again take the role of DCI Sutton, the detective portrayed in the first series of Manhunt tenaciously pursuing serial killer Levi Bellfield.

Sutton spent 30 years in the police force, the last nine as Senior Investigating Officer for the Met Police’s Murder Squad.

As well as his involvement in the Bellfield and Grant investigations, Sutton was also responsible for the re-investigation of the deaths on four young army recruits at Surrey’s Deepcut Barracks.

Where have you seen Martin Clunes before?

Clunes has been a familiar face on British TV for more than 30 years. He rose to fame playing Gary Strang in 1990s sitcom Men Behaving Badly, but may be best known today as grouchy GP Martin Ellingham in ITV’s Doc Martin, a role he has played for 17 years.

He has also starred in romantic comedy-drama William and Mary, took the title role in rebooted sitcom Reggie Perrin and has presented travelogues around Britain, the US and Australia as well as a series of animal documentaries, and has been guest presenter on Have I Got News for You 13 times.

Also appearing in Manhunt II: The Night Stalker

Other cast members include David Witts (Joey Branning in EastEnders) as DC Adam Spier, Diveen Henry (The Dumping Ground) as DC Patricia Henry, Sule Rimi (Black Earth Rising) as DS Neville Hylton, and Ian Conningham (Cleaning Up) as Richard Moore.

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Who wrote Manhunt II: The Night Stalker?

Ed Whitmore, who wrote the first series of Manhunt, returns to write the second season. Both series are based on the memoirs of Colin Sutton. Screenwriter Whitmore has also written episodes of Silent Witness and Waking the Dead, and co-wrote Rillington Place, the BBC’s three-part drama about the murderer John Christie, starring Tim Roth.

What happened in the first series of Manhunt?

Martin Clunes in Manhunt ITV

The first series of Manhunt told the true story of how the murder of French student Amélie Delagrange on Twickenham Green in 2004 was eventually linked to the murder of Marsha McDonnell in 2003 and the abduction and murder of Milly Dowler as she travelled home from school in 2002.

Despite having very little evidence, Senior Investigating Officer DCI Colin Sutton’s painstaking approach and determination gradually leads to a breakthrough in the case and the arrest and subsequent conviction of Levi Bellfield.

When is Manhunt II on ITV?

Manhunt II: The Night Stalker begins at 9pm on Monday September 20 for four nights.

Watch the first series of Manhunt on BritBox