The Murder of Jill Dando - new BBC1 documentary asks did Jill's celebrity status hinder the hunt for her killer?

Jill Dando
(Image credit: REX/Shutterstock)

Documentary will feature 'never-before-seen' material surrounding the TV presenter's shocking murder.

The Murder of Jill Dando, a new BBC1 documentary to be shown next Tuesday ahead of the 20th anniversary of her killing, will ask whether her status as a TV star hindered detectives trying to solve the case.

Jill, who at the time was one of the biggest stars in television, was shot dead on the doorstep of her London home on April 26 1999.

It was a crime that truly shocked the nation, with Jill, who was just 37, hugely popular for her work on the 6 o’clock news, Crimewatch and Holiday.

Even The Queen commented on Jill’s death and yet, approaching the 20th anniversary of her murder, the case still remains unsolved.

Now, the documentary will ask whether Jill’s huge fame made her murder harder to solve? Could the enormous media scrutiny on the police have worked against them as they frantically tried to find her killer?

The BBC says the documentary has, “access to never-before seen material from inside one of the largest and most complex murder inquiries ever conducted by the Metropolitan Police”.

The one-hour film will feature the perspectives of detectives who worked on the case, Jill’s friends and colleagues as it aims to offer an insight into Jill’s life and the hunt for her killer.

Judith Dando - Jill's Cousin

(Image credit: BBC Studios)

It will also look at the forensics and the numerous theories surrounding the case.

David Brindley, Head of Commissioning, Popular Factual and Factual Entertainment, says,"Jill was one of the BBC’s most talented and well-loved presenters. Her death sent shockwaves through the country and sparked one of the biggest investigations the Metropolitan Police had ever launched.

"Twenty years on, with the crime still unsolved, this film will reveal in detail the process of that investigation from those who were closest to it."

The Murder of Jill Dando is on BBC1 next Tuesday at 9pm.

David Hollingsworth has over 20 years of experience in television journalism and is the UK Managing Editor for WhatToWatch.

Before working for WhatToWatch, David was on both Whatsontv and, for many years, TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie, and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards, once presenting an award to Hollywood star Lily James.