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Nicholas Cannon

The Hunt For Raoul Moat: release date, cast, plot, trailer, first looks, interviews and all about the true-crime drama

Matt Stokoe plays the infamous killer in The Hunt For Raoul Moat on ITV1.

The Hunt For Raoul Moat on ITV stars Bodyguard actor Matt Stokoe and The A Word’s Lee Ingleby and focuses on the moving stories of the innocent victims of the infamous Geordie killer. 

Jamestown star Matt Stokoe is playing the vengeful killer Raoul Moat as this new drama shows how the fugitive shot three people before going on the run for more than a week. But while it brings to life Moat’s shooting spree and the epic manhunt that led to his capture, its focus is on the three innocent victims of his rampage — Moat’s ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart (Sally Messham), her new boyfriend Chris Brown (Josef Davies) and PC David Rathband who was blinded by Moat before later taking his own life. It also follows the police officers who put themselves in the line of fire to catch the violent killer, including Neil Adamson (Lee Ingleby), a senior Northumbria police officer and the local journalist Diane Barnwell (Sonya Cassidy) who sought to tell the truth about Moat while others were painting him as an anti-hero. 

Here’s everything you need about The Hunt For Raoul Moat on ITV1… 

Lee Ingleby as Neil Adamson in The Hunt For Raul Moat. (Image credit: ITV)

The Hunt For Raoul Moat release date 

The Hunt For Raoul Moat is a three-part series that starts on ITV1 Sunday, April 16 at 9 pm with subsequent episodes showing at the same time on Monday, April 17 and Tuesday, April 18. The drama will also appear on ITVX in 2023. 

An accompanying documentary Manhunt: The Raoul Moat Story will be shown on Wednesday April 19 on ITV1 at 9pm. Scroll below for more about this show.

At present, we don’t know where or when US viewers can watch this drama but we’ll update this page as soon as we hear anything. 

Is there a trailer for The Hunt For Raoul Moat? 

Yes, a trailer for The Hunt For Raoul Moat has landed so we can see Matt Stokoe step into the shoes of killer Moat and the other characters. Take a look below...

The Hunt For Raoul Moat plot 

The Hunt For Raoul Moat is told through the eyes of the those who sought to bring Raoul Moat to justice, focusing primarily on his innocent victims and those who stepped up to apprehend him. 

Sally Messham plays Samantha Stobbart, Moat’s ex who was piecing her life back together following his imprisonment for assault. She had found a new love, Chris Brown, but was seriously concerned about Moat’s release after he threatened her from prison when she refused to rekindle their relationship. After serving his four-month sentence, on July 1 2010 vengeful Moat sourced a shotgun and confronted Samantha and Chris, shooting dead Chris who stepped in front of Sam to protect her. Samantha was badly injured but survived. 

As Sam had lied to Moat, saying her new boyfriend was a police officer, Moat then went on a rampage to kill another officer. He went on the run and the following night he shot and blinded PC David Rathband who was unarmed and sitting in his police car. 

Moat then evaded capture for a week before he was cornered in Rothbury, Northumberland and shot himself. The drama also shows how sensationalist reporting and comments on social media almost glorified Moat’s actions.

Violent killer Moat (Matt Stokoe) with his ex Samantha Stobbart (Sally Messham) The Hunt for Raoul Moat (Image credit: ITV)

The Hunt for Raoul Moat cast — Matt Stokoe on playing Raoul Moat 

Matt Stokoe, who plays killer Roaul Moat, reveals: “I’m originally from Durham but was away at university at the time. The story caught my attention because of the fact the north east is so rarely in the news. So, when you hear these place names pop up it’s automatically a flashbulb moment. I remember getting texts from my family saying they had helicopters flying over and lots of police cars in the area. It was a story that captivated everybody with a huge amount of media attention on it.

“The main name I could recall was that of PC David Rathband who was shot and blinded by Moat after Chris Brown has been killed and Sam Stobbart injured. I then retained a lot of the misconceptions around it. Right up until this production came about when I looked into the reality of what had really happened. I then realised I knew only about half of the story accurately.

“I remember getting a phone call to say they were making a drama about Raoul Moat. I said to my agent, ‘I really want to be part of that in whatever capacity I can be involved.’ Thinking that usually several people would already have been cast and we would be talking about the peripheral parts. I remember thinking, ‘That’s going to be a bit of a hot potato. Tackling something like that. They’re going to have to find somebody with a thick skin to play him.’ Not thinking it was ever going to be my problem."

* Matt Stokoe has previously played James Read in the series Jamestown between 2017 and 2019. He has also starred in BBC1 thriller Bodyguard, alongside Keeley Hawes and Richard Madden, Channel 4 comedy drama Misfits, The Musketeers and Cursed

The hunt for Raoul Moat was one of the biggest in British criminal history. (Image credit: Banijay Rights / BBC)

Interview: Lee Ingleby on playing Neil Adamson

Lee Ingelby is playing Neil Adamson, a senior Northumbria police officer who heads up the attempt to catch Moat. 

Lee told us: "I remember it being presented to the world as an American-style live, rolling news manhunt. And wondering where Rothbury was, where Moat disappeared into the woods. When you get out there, you realise it must have been like looking for a needle in a haystack. The intention was to go beyond the name of Raoul Moat. I couldn't quite remember who the victims were, for example, and when you ask people about it, they remember Gazza turning up. But as you’ll see, that was such an insignificant part of the story. 

"Moat knew what he was doing. When he got to Rothbury, he knew the area, and how to keep a low profile. I find it fascinating how he couldn't resist getting in contact with the police and goading them. Perhaps he also knew when the game was up.

“This story is also about violence by men against women. Moat treated Sam as his possession even though she had walked out on him the year before. What drives men to behave that way? This drama highlights that issue which is still a big problem today.

‘Sam was so desperate for Moat to stay away from her that she told him her new partner Chris was a police officer. Which was not true. Moat claimed he would not have killed him otherwise. But I’m not sure about that. If anything it just made him justify his actions to himself even more.”

* Lee Ingelby is well known for starring in The A Word, Criminal: UK, Innocent and The Five. He played Nick in Line of Duty and Kevin in the popular 1997 series Soldier Soldier. He also voiced the character of Bob The Builder in the 2015 TV series as well as appearing in Our Zoo, Luther, Inspector George Gently and The Street. 

Lee Inglelby is playing police officer Neil Adamson. (Image credit: Getty)

Interview: Sally Messham on playing Samantha Stobbart

Doc Martin actress Sally Messham plays Moat’s ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart while Josef Davies (Chernobyl) is her new partner Chris. 

Sally says: “I was still living with my parents in the North East at the time. I remember it playing out on the 24-hour news channels. It felt unreal. But it was mainly the manhunt I recalled rather than actually what happened to the victims. The news was all about this man on the run rather than the actual details of the case.

“I was intrigued as to how it had been written and the way they were going to approach it. As soon as I read Kevin Sampson’s scripts and spoke to the director Gareth Bryn, the fact this was a story about the victims reassured me. The shifting of the narrative. Really delving into these victims as three-dimensional people rather than just faces next to a headline. Their stories needed to be told.

“I knew we would be in safe hands with Kevin Sampson, who wrote the Hillsborough drama Anne, and World Productions. This drama also looks at the public’s fascination with this fugitive. Understanding their relationship to the police and authority. And it takes the power and hysteria away from the murderer.

“When we first meet Sam she was aged 22 and had left Moat the previous year. We know that relationship was abusive with him being violent. He is in prison at this point, having hit a child. And we see Sam meeting Chris Brown, played by Josef Davies, and then their relationship developing. Starting to see a brighter future for herself with a new man.

“Both Sam and Chris were emerging from previous relationships with Chris having moved to the North East from down south. Both turning over a new leaf. Which also helped attract them to each other as well."

Josef Davies as Chris with Sally Messham as Samantha. (Image credit: ITV)

Sonya Cassidy on playing Diane Barnwell

Sonya Cassidy is starring as local journalist Diane Barnwell in The Hunt For Raoul Moat

Sonya says: "“My approach in playing Diane was not to provide the answers about why Moat did what he did. It was in asking questions to leave those conversations out there. Also making the point that so many people experience hardship and bad things in childhood and in life and they don’t go on to do what Moat did.

“The language we use around men who do these things. It’s not their mother’s fault. They’re not the jilted lover. They are abusers and murderers. You do not have a monopoly on trauma and pain and how that is dealt with because you, yourself, have experienced that. That does not give you carte blanche to treat other people badly. Somehow, we are in a world where people have to be reminded of that?

“There are so many women living in horrendous, dangerous circumstances and it’s just not talked about. We need to have a bigger conversation about how we openly discuss these things in order for those who are suffering today to feel they can come forward and be heard. That is so important.

“There is a clear right and wrong in this story. But it’s very messy and tragic. This is a harrowing series of events. Diane is still there long after the rest of the press have gone away. This is more than just a shocking headline story for her.”

* Sonya Cassidy previously appeared in the 2022 adaptation of the David Bowie classic The Man Who Fell to Earth and starred in The Last Kingdom. She has also had roles in Humans, Vera, The Paradise and The Woman in White

Sonya Cassidy is playing local journalist Diane Barnwell. (Image credit: ITV)

Who else is starring in The Hunt for Raoul Moat? 

Dan Skinner plays PC David Rathband and Vera star Vineeta Rishi plays Nisha Roberts, who says: “At its heart this story is about the victims along with their families and how their lives were shattered by a killer: Sam Stobbart, Chris Brown and David Rathband. Finding out more about them and their families. And the fact that Moat was in no way the hero that some people on social media made him out to be.

“So much of what Moat did was premeditated. This wasn’t just something he did in the heat of anger or rage. It was all very much thought through. The fact that he packed the cartridges with lead weights to cause maximum damage when he shot and killed the totally innocent Chris Brown. This was evil.

“Moat was a violent bully who terrified his former partner Sam. She was just 16 when she met him and he was 15 years older than her. He refused to accept that relationship was over and took no notice of her pleas to stay away. Then murdering her boyfriend and also shooting her.

“You can only imagine the fear she would have felt. Firstly, when he was in prison for hitting a child - when he would not stop ringing her and saying they would get back together after his release. When she had made it very clear she wanted nothing more to do with him.

“And then after Sam was shot by him, with her new partner dead, her not feeling that threat is ever going to go away. She was also the victim of a hate campaign even though she was the victim in all of this. Moat then declared war on the police, shooting and blinding PC David Rathband. And later threatened to target members of the public.”

Angela Bain and Sophie Wise play Sally and Beckie Brown. Gavin O’Connor is Steve Neill, Mark Stobbart is playing Neil Robson, Jessica Johnson is Suzie Clarke, Gina Murray is Lesley Stobbart, Joe Blakemore is Karl Ness, Anand Toora plays Qhuram Awan, Elèna Gyasi is PC Debbie and former Coronation Street star Bill Ward plays Mike Anderson.

No one has been cast to play footballer Paul Gascoigne, aka Gazza, who also got caught up in the case.

Vineeta Rishi plays Nisha Roberts. (Image credit: ITV)

The Hunt For Raol Moat episode guide (with spoliers)

Here's our brief guide to all three episodes of The Hunt for Raoul Moat...

Episode 1: Sunday April 16
Samantha Stobbart strikes up a new romance with Christopher Brown. She is increasingly nervous about her abusive ex-partner, Raoul Moat, being released from prison, where he has been serving a short sentence for assaulting a child. Moat refuses to acknowledge that their relationship is over. Possessive and pathologically jealous, Moat becomes incensed when he learns about Sam’s new partner. Upon his release, Moat commits a brutal and violent crime. On the run, Moat has no intention of going quietly and sets his sights on attacking the very police force now hunting him.

Episode 2: Monday April 17
Raoul Moat’s attack against PC David Rathband has devastating consequences. Moat continues to evade capture. Moat doubles down on his threats against the police via a letter. DCS Adamson and his team turn their attention to the hostages he is believed to be holding. After identifying the car Moat has been travelling in, the police are closing in on Moat’s trail. Senior officers grapple to manage the manhunt, amid reports that Moat’s release from HMP Durham was mishandled. A police raid on a tent near Rothbury marks progress, but leaves the police frustrated.

Episode 3: Tuesday April 18
The manhunt zeroes in on the small village of Rothbury. Following the discovery that press attention is antagonising Moat, the police request a media blackout. Information comes to light that Raoul Moat has all the survival skills to last for weeks on his own in the woods. The police enlist the help of a survivalist expert, but Moat continues to elude them. An unexpected sighting makes another attack seem imminent and the police are on high alert. After a shocking turn, the police must try to defuse the situation.

Samantha visiting Raoul Moat in prison. (Image credit: ITV)

The Hunt for Raoul Moat writer Kevin Sampson

The Hunt for Raoul Moat has been penned by Kevin Sampson who wrote the hugely successful ITV drama Anne, which aired last year. The drama told the story of Anne Williams (played by Maxine Peake), who dedicated her life to campaigning for justice after her 15-year-old son Kevin died in the Hillsborough tragedy. 

Talking about his latest real crime drama Kevin says, “The Hunt for Raoul Moat gripped me from the start, as it was the first such case to be covered ‘live’ by the new 24-hour news channels in the UK. Even then, it interested me that Moat was being portrayed by some as a ‘legend’ in spite of the brutality of his crimes. In 2022, violence against women remains rife and is all too often accompanied by a victim-blaming agenda. I hope this drama will go some way to condemning this narrative.” 

The ITV1 documentary Manhunt: The Raoul Moat Story

Manhunt: The Raoul Moat Story is an ITV1 documentary to be broadcast on on Wednesday April 19 2023. It will show how in 2010 37-year-old Raoul Moat went on a two-day shooting spree, killing his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart’s new partner, Chris Brown, and leaving PC David Rathband blinded. The documentary is hosted by Nicky Campbell, hears from detectives, witnesses and victims’ relatives to tell how Moat went on the run and was finally tracked down following a week-long manhunt, all conducted in the glare of 24-hour rolling news.

A picture of the real Roaul Moat as shown in Manhunt: The Raoul Moat Story. (Image credit: ITV)
Paul Gascoigne's involvement will be show in Manhunt: The Raoul Moat Story. (Image credit: ITV)
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