The drama from Catherine The Great producer New Pictures was unveiled on Friday and ITV quickly followed up by releasing an image of Tennant as the man who murdered at least 15 men and boys between 1978 and 1983.
Des was developed by Luke Neal and Lewis Arnold, with Neal writing the first two episodes and Kelly Jones penning the third. It charts Nilsen’s unraveling from the point of his arrest to his trial, and is based on the Brian Masters book Killing For Company, which attempted to get inside the mind of the killer.
Masters is a central character in ITV’s drama and is played by The Crown star Jason Watkins. Line Of Duty actor Daniel Mays features as Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay.
Willow Grylls, Kim Varvell, Charlie Pattinson, Elaine Pyke, Neal, Lewis Arnold and Tennant are the executive producers. ITV drama head Polly Hill commissioned the series, which will be distributed by All3Media International.
Below is a closer look at Tennant as Nilsen: