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Chilling True Story Behind BBC Show 'The Secrets She Keeps'

Chilling True Story Behind BBC Show 'The Secrets She Keeps'

*This article contains spoilers for The Secrets She Keeps*

New drama, The Secrets She Keeps recently arrived on BBC, and viewers have been totally gripped by the dramatic and heartbreaking story.

But did you know it's actually based on real life events?

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The Australian drama, set in Sydney, is an adaptation of Michael Robotham's best-selling novel of the same name, which in turn was inspired by and loosely based on a real life story.

Starring Laura Carmichael (Downton Abbey, Marcella) and Jessica de Gouw (The Crown, The Hunting), the drama focuses on Agatha and Meghan, two women living in the same suburb, with very different lives.

Agatha's idea of the 'perfect life' is Meghan's. On paper she has it all - a loving husband, a big house and two lovely children with another on the way. She's also a mummy blogger, receiving heaps of freebies every week, meanwhile Agatha struggles to make ends meet working in a local supermarket and living in a small flat.

But there's something not quite right about their growing friendship. Although Meghan is unaware, Agatha watches her from afar, sitting outside her house, fantasising about her life and 'running into her' at her yoga classes, or in the park.

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The Australian drama, set in Sydney, is an adaptation of Michael Robotham's best-selling novel of the same name (Credit: BBC)
The Australian drama, set in Sydney, is an adaptation of Michael Robotham's best-selling novel of the same name (Credit: BBC)

Agatha's envious obsession takes a dark turn and we find out she has a harrowing past when it comes to babies. Added to that, all is not as it seems with her own pregnancy.

Viewers find out - major spoilers ahead! - that Aggie isn't actually pregnant, she's just pretending to be, and after stalking Meghan's home she hatches a plan to kidnap her newborn.

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We were on the edge of our sofas as Agatha posed as a nurse in the hospital, telling dad Jack that baby Ben had to go for a routine blood test, before managing to transport him out of the hospital in a shopping trolley.

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It turns out the series is inspired by a real life kidnapping case from 1994, in which newborn baby Abbie Sundgren was taken just three hours after she was born, from a woman posing as a nurse at Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham.

Abbie and her parents after they had been reunited (Credit: PA)
Abbie and her parents after they had been reunited (Credit: PA)
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Similar to the book and drama, the 'nurse' claimed Abbie needed a hearing test before abducting her. She was missing for 17 days before she was found in Wollaton and reunited with her mum and dad, Karen and Roger Humphries.

The woman who took Abbie was Julie Kelley, who had also been faking a pregnancy in order to try and save a failing relationship.

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Now aged 26, Abbie herself has also watched the BBC drama and told The Mail on Sunday how it brought up "a lot of emotions for [her] family".

The Humphries have since emigrated to New Zealand, and Abbie has previously explained her parents were always honest with her about what happened during the first 17 days of her life.

"My parents told me all about it as I grew up, but not all in one go. It came out in bits and pieces. It was after we moved to New Zealand when I realised how big it all was," she said.

"We were unpacking all the boxes and I saw the press cuttings."

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If you haven't yet watched the drama, you can binge all six episodes on BBC iPlayer now!

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: True Crime, TV News, TV Entertainment

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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]