Anne: Everything you need to know about ITV's new Hillsborough drama

We speak to the daughter of Anne Williams, Maxine Peake and writers of the ITV drama.

ITV's gripping new drama Anne, starring Maxine Peake, has received five star reviews after premiering on Sunday 2 January.

The series focuses on the life of Anne Williams, who fought for justice for the 97 victims who were unlawfully killed in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster - including her son Kevin.

The drama tells the story of Hillsborough campaigner Anne Williams. Credit: ITV

What happened at Hillsborough?

During an FA Cup football match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest on 15 April 1989, held at Sheffield’s Hillsborough ground, 96 fans were crushed to death in what is know as the worst incident in the UK’s football history.

It is claimed that an exit gate was opened to relieve crowds, which resulted in 2,500 fans entering the stadium.

It overcrowded the already full central pens and caused the fatal crushing.

Victims of the Hillsborough disasters.

What followed was decades of the victims and their families seeking justice and an explanation for how the tragedy could have occurred.

An inquest in 2016 finally concluded that 96 victims were unlawfully killed.

In 2021, Andrew Devine died more than 32 years after suffering serious injuries at Hillsborough. He was the 97th victim of Hillsborough.

The real Anne Williams fought for more than two decades for justice for the victims of Hillsborough. Credit: PA

Who is Anne Williams?

Anne's 15-year-old son, Kevin, was among those killed on that tragic day.

After refusing to accept the coroner's original verdict of accidental death, the real-life drama tells the story of her determination to unearth the truth about what really happened.

She found witnesses, gained medical opinions from top doctors and launched numerous legal challenges.

Anne died in 2013 before new inquests concluded that those who died were unlawfully killed.

Sara Williams, daughter of Anne Williams. Credit: ITV News

What does Anne's family think of the mini-series?

The daughter of the late Hillsborough campaigner Anne Williams says a new TV drama about her mother has opened her eyes to what she went through. 

Daughter Sara Williams told ITV Granada Reports how the programme surprised her.

"I'd lived it. But seeing on screen what we actually went through as the family...it was an eye-opener, even though we knew the story", explains Sara.

We spoke to Sara Williams ahead of the premier of Anne. Catch up now.

Who stars in Anne?

The mini-series, which has been made by the creators of Line of Duty, will air for four consecutive evenings on ITV.

Maxine Peake stars as Anne Williams in the gripping new drama, alongside Stephen Walters who is playing her husband Steve Williams.

Campbell Wallace, Lily Shepherd, Bobby Schofield, Clare Calbraith and Matthew McNulty also star.

Maxine Peake as Anne. Credit: ITV News

Where was the drama filmed?

The series was written by Kevin Sampson, the author of Hillsborough Voices, who interviewed Williams several times for his book.

The drama was filmed at many of the real locations in Liverpool and at the scene of the tragedy in Sheffield.

ITV Granada Correspondent Andy Bonner went behind the scenes during the filming of Anne in Liverpool. Catch up here.

You can watch the new drama Anne on the ITV hub. Credit: ITV

Where can I watch Anne and when?

Anne debuts on Sunday 2 January on ITV, airing over four consecutive evenings. You can watch all episodes on the ITV Hub.

Anne, played by Maxine Peake in the drama, always refused to believe her son Kevin died as a result of an accident. Credit: ITV / Anne