What is Angela Black about and is it based on a true story?

Angela Black is the new ITV drama that has hooked fans, but is it based on a true story?

What is Angela Black about
(Image credit: ITV)

Angela Black is the new Sunday night drama from ITV that has hooked fans for the past three weeks, but what is the show about, and is it really based on a true story?

Angela Black first came to our screens on Sunday, October 10, 2021, and within just three episodes, this show seems to have gripped the nation. For those of us who have yet to watch this popular show, here's what it is really about and how true the events in the show may be...

Angela Black ITV drama starring Joanne Froggatt and Michiel Huisman

(Image credit: ITV)

What is Angela Black about?

This series focuses on a woman named Angela Black, who appears to have it all—two lovely little boys, a big house, and a handsome rich husband, Olivier. However, behind closed doors, Angela is stuck in an abusive relationship with her husband Oliver—who in the first episode after a minor argument, attacked her and knocked a tooth out of her mouth. 

Despite the abuse, Angela stays with her husband and believes that she will lose her children if she leaves him. We know that her husband is a violent man, and as an isolated and victim of abuse, Angela sees no way out.

She is then approached by a private investigator named Ed who explains that he has been paid by Olivier to follow her and dig up dirt about her. He says that Olivier plans to divorce her and take full custody of their children by portraying her as an unfit parent. Ed suggests that he and Angela instead team up against Olivier and quickly Angela's life begins to spiral.

As the show continues we discover that Olivier has a lot of dark secrets that Angela begins to uncover with the help of Ed. Although Ed appears to be trying to help, it's unclear what his motives are, and as an audience, we can't help but question the authenticity of every person that Angela encounters.

The show is an insidious, slow burner and for this reason, some critics have slammed Angela Black for being 'slow.' However, many fans are loving the sinister pace of the drama, which allows the tension to build with every episode as we uncover more and more about the twisted lives of the main characters. 

Angela Black

(Image credit: ITV)

Is Angela Black based on a true story?

This show is fictional and comes from the writers, Jack and Harry Williams, who were also behind other shows such as Baptiste, Liar, Fleabag, and Back to Life.

Although the show is not based on a book or real events, the writers did use real accounts from victims of domestic abuse to help write the script.

Both Jack and Harry spoke with staff and consultants at domestic violence shelters so that they could make sure that their portrayal of abuse was accurate.

 Jack told ITV, "I think the key thing is that this is something that happens a lot, but people do not always understand or read about it. I think it is very easy to watch shows about abuse and go, 'Well… I’d just leave'. It is not as simple."

Harry added, "It was important that we do it justice and that we were accurate about the psychology of the abused and the abuser, both sides of the story." He added that they both wanted the show to feel like a truthful portrayal. 

Despite the writer's desire to achieve accuracy, after the first episode of the show aired, ITV was met with complaints from viewers about the portrayal of domestic abuse in Angela Black

Some viewers felt that certain aspects of the abuse portrayed were inaccurate, while others felt that the subject matter was inappropriate given the conversations that are currently taking place about misogyny and violence against women in the UK. 

However, other fans felt that this was an accurate portrayal and felt that these types of shows allow empowerment for women by opening conversations about domestic abuse.

The show continues on Sunday at 9pm and will continue for a total of six episodes that conclude on Sunday, November 14, 2021. 

Laura Harman
Laura Harman

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty and fashion news, and her favourite stories to cover as anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.


Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.