BBC could run TV drama of Shannon Matthews hoax

The BBC are in talks to run a TV drama about the hoax kidnap of schoolgirl Shannon Matthews, whose mother was jailed for what the judge described as a "truly despicable" plot.

Sheridan Smith could be in line to play Shannon Matthews' mother. Credit: PA

Writer Jeff Pope, who was behind hit blockbuster Philomena, told the Guardian that award-winning actress Sheridan Smith is set to play the role of Shannon's mother Karen.

Shannon was nine when she disappeared from her home in Dewsbury Moor, West Yorkshire, in February 2008, sparking a massive police investigation.

Karen Matthews pictured outside court in 2008. Credit: PA

But she was discovered 24 days later at the home of her stepfather's uncle, Michael Donovan, less than a mile away, where she had been imprisoned as part of a plan he and Matthews hatched to claim a £50,000 reward offered by a national newspaper.

Matthews and Donovan were both jailed for eight years but were released after serving half their sentence.