Viewers react to the first two episodes of ITV's heartbreaking Hillsborough drama Anne

Virgin Radio

4 Jan 2022, 11:46

Credit: Rex

Credit: Rex

A four-part series focusing on a mother’s fight for justice following the death of her son at Hillsborough is leaving viewers heartbroken.

Maxine Peake stars as Anne Williams in the ITV drama, which follows on from the events at the FA Cup semi-final at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium in 1989, where 97 Liverpool fans were killed.

Anne’s 15-year-old son Kevin was one of the supporters who went to the match against Nottingham Forest and never came home. At the game, a human crush on a terrace behind the goal resulted in 96 people dying. Earlier this year, the figure rose to 97 after Andrew Devine died 32 years after suffering severe brain damage.

In the first episode of the show, viewers saw Maxine’s Anne and her husband Stephen learning of the events at Hillsborough on the radio, and when Kevin didn’t return home after the game, the couple left for Sheffield in an attempt to locate their son. There, they discovered that he had lost his life. 

Episode two, which aired last night, saw Anne trying to find out what really happened to her son at the football match. The drama concludes over the next two nights.

Viewers took to social media to exclaim their praise for the show, despite finding it very difficult viewing.

One person wrote: “As hard as it’s been to watch, it is nowhere near the level of pain that those involved (directly & indirectly) suffered. Harrowing is not a big enough word!"

Another said: “I feel physically sick watching this. Completely sickening and utterly heartbreaking.”

Someone else added: “Absolutely harrowing at times, but what a great tribute to a brilliant woman. #JFT97”

Another person wrote: “This is so heartbreaking to watch. Crying my eyes out. God help these families. I was 8 when this happened. I remember my Mum took me and my sister to lay flowers.” 

Former Shameless and Silks star Maxine Peake has received universal acclaim for her portrayal of the grieving mother determined on justice. 

Comedian Sooz Kemper wrote on Twitter: “Man, Maxine Peake is an absolute GOAT isn't she. One of our greatest actors and the very best of us to boot. Anne on ITV is very tough but necessary viewing.”

Somebody else added: “I think #Anne was the most emotional programme I’ve ever watched. Maxine Peake was fantastic. Glad this has been brought to the forefront again. #JusticeForThe97 #YNWA”

Elsewhere on Twitter, a commenter wrote: “I doubt they’ll be a better drama this year. Maxine Peake is outstanding as Anne. Thank you ITV and everyone involved in telling the story of a mother’s fight for justice. #Anne #Hillsborough #JusticeForThe97”

Anne continues tonight at 9pm on ITV. The entire series is available to watch now on ITV Hub.