ITV Anne viewers were left sobbing over the ‘hard to watch’ drama which tells the heartbreaking story of the Hillsborough disaster.
On Sunday, the four-part drama aired its first episode, and it had people at home in tears as it followed what happened after Anne Williams’ fifteen-year-old son – Kevin Williams – was one of 97 people who were unlawfully killed at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield in 1989.
The drama sees actress Maxine Peake portray Anne, while Stephen Walters plays Steve Williams.
Taking to Twitter as the drama aired, one person wrote: “This is gonna be a devastating 4 nights. The tears are already rolling a bit.”
“Watching #Anne Already in bits and it’s just started. I need Stan watching things like this,” a second shared.
A third added: “Feel sick to the pit of my stomach already watching #Anne.”
“Emotional as soon as it started,” another wrote.
And a fifth commented: “So emotional watching. What the poor families had to go through.”
Ahead of the drama airing on ITV, the daughter of inspirational campaigner Anne praised Maxine for bringing her late mum to life in the miniseries.
While she knew Maxine would do a “really good job” of playing their mum she was stunned by how good her performance turned out to be in the drama named after her mother.
Sarah said: “When we went to see the final version I thought, how can someone play my mum and feel like my mum? At first, you watch it thinking, ‘she looks a bit like her’. But by the end, I felt I was watching Mum.”
Shameless star Maxine said she did not want to “do an impression” of Anne, who died in 2013.
“I thought, all I can do is get a sense of Anne and her fight for justice and her warmth and her humanity.”
Writer Kevin Sampson decided to focus on Anne after interviewing her for his book Hillsborough Voices as she did “absolutely extraordinary things to simply get the truth”.
He added: “She famously said, ‘They’re going to try and wear me down. But… I’ll wear them down before they wear me out.’”
Sarah, who also praised Stephen Walters for his portrayal of her dad, Steve, said it was important to show how much the families suffered.
“It was difficult [to watch] but a relief, in a way, that people could see it wasn’t just the people who died at Hillsborough and wasn’t just the campaign. Families were destroyed. Brothers and sisters’ lives destroyed.”
*Anne is available to watch now on ITV Hub.