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'Des' Fans Complain About Dennis Nilsen's Smoking During ITV Series

'Des' Fans Complain About Dennis Nilsen's Smoking During ITV Series

This week, viewers have been gripped to ITV's gritty three-part Drama Des, which tells the story of serial killer Dennis Nilsen.

But despite being hooked to the David Tennant drama, many viewers admitted they had to turn off last night - as the second episode aired - due to the serial killer's constant smoking.

In fact, one person said it made her feel ill while another joked they were concerned for David Tennant's health.

Viewers said the constant smoking was 'distracting' (Credit: ITV)
Viewers said the constant smoking was 'distracting' (Credit: ITV)
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The ITV drama tells the horrifying story of Nilsen, who murdered up to 16 boys and men in his North London flat between 1978 and 1983. His victims were often homeless or living off grid, susceptible to the generosity of strangers.

Once back at Nilsen's, he would strangle them - sometimes combined with drowning - before observing a ritual in which he would bathe and dress the victim's bodies, which he would keep for long periods of time.

David Tennant stars as Des (Credit: ITV)
David Tennant stars as Des (Credit: ITV)

The sick killer would also perform sex acts on his victims, before dissecting them and disposing of the parts by burning them or flushing them down the toilet.

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Set out over three episodes, the drama is told through the prism of three men: detective Peter Jay (played by Daniel Mays) who arrested the killer, biographer Brian Masters (Jason Watkins) and Nilsen himself.

But in last night's episode, viewers were distracted by all the smoking. From the police station, to the office, many social media users called it "unrealistic" and "distracting".

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One said: "Watching Des on ITV. So much smoking going on. It's a bit distracting."

While another tweeted: "Such a shame so much smoking in new series DES, actually made me feel ill last night so switched off."

One even joked they could smell the smoke, writing: "I feel like I can smell the smoke from all this smoking they're doing, making me feel ill #Des #DesITV."

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"Enjoying ITV's Des but I am finding the smoking of cigarettes unrealistic," added another, while one said they wouldn't recommend watching if you're trying to give up smoking.


Despite the complaints, others claimed it was simply normal behaviour back in the eighties, when the drama is set.

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One person tweeted: "People complaining about the smoking in #Des to those that don't know that is just the way it was back in those days, thankfully we have moved on!"

Des continues tonight on ITV at 9pm.

Featured Image Credit: ITV

Topics: TV News, ITV

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Lucy Devine

Lucy is a journalist working for Tyla. After graduating with a master's degree in journalism, she has worked in both print and online and is particularly interested in fashion, food, health and women's issues. Northerner, coffee addict, says hun a lot. Get in touch at [email protected]