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'It provides an insight into the darker side of Britain': Emilia Fox on Murdertown 4

Emilia Fox in Murdertown
Emilia Fox is the new host of Murdertown

In the new series of Murdertown, actor and presenter Emilia Fox visits different British towns where a high-profile murder took place. Each episode shows the impact a killing has on a local community, through the eyes of those most immediately affected: friends and relatives of the victims and, in some cases, the accused.

Crime + Investigation spoke to Murdertown's new host about the series and found out how taking part in the show gave her a different perspective on crime in the UK.

Crime+Investigation: How would you describe the premise of Murdertown to someone who has never seen it before?

Emilia Fox: It is a series whose ethos is to tell the victim's stories in a sensitive and respectful manner. It takes into consideration the awful effects these crimes have on the families and friends who are left behind.

What drew me to the show is that it is victim-led. It is about their story and about remembering who they were and where they lived.

Murdertown gives a full 360 view of the places where these crimes have happened and gives us a darker insight. It contextualises where these crimes happened.

What drew you to the series?

I've done 18 years of solving fictional crimes on television. So, clearly, I have an interest in the crime genre. Through Silent Witness I got to work with the professionals who work on solving real crimes and that is truly fascinating. So being invited to work on Murdertown gave me another opportunity to get to know the people who are working on these crimes.

Which episode most stood out for you and why?

All of them stand out because they're all unique in their own way. They're all appalling crimes. What I find shocking is how brutal human beings can be to each other and how senseless the taking of someone else's life can be. So, for instance, the episode set in Mablethorpe, it's so incongruous. Mablethorpe is a small community on this beautiful stretch of the British coastline where a married couple in their 50s are murdered by an organised crime gang.

Did taking part in the series give you a different perspective on crime in the UK?

It provides an insight into the darker side of Britain for sure. Murdertown makes you realise that crimes are happening in ordinary places in extraordinary ways. We get used to the anonymity of crime in big cities, yet Murdertown focuses on all different sizes of towns and communities. It also highlights the impact crimes can have on those communities long after the media spotlight has moved on.

Very often, you're seeing these small towns like Mablethorpe or Swanley put on the map because of murders that have happened there. When we went to Mablethorpe, everyone remembers that murder.

From Silent Witness you must have a good grounding in police work and forensics but did taking part in Murdertown teach you anything new?

Certainly, my time on Silent Witness has given me insight into solving crimes, mainly through the forensic side of things as it's focused on forensic pathology. But I've met people in all areas of solving crime because of that, which I'm very grateful for.

When I'm working on Silent Witness, I invest passionately in each and every story, but of course, it is fiction. While Murdertown is real and that gives it this sobriety that I hope is conveyed to the audience.

You co-host a true crime podcast, If It Bleeds, It Leads with criminologist, David Wilson but what's your favourite true crime podcast?

Oh, that's such a great question. My all-time favourite is S-Town, but I have to say I've just listened to Who Killed Daphne? which is utterly brilliant.