Stephen Merchant is unrecognisable as he transforms into serial killer Stephen Port for BBC drama The Barking Murders

FUNNYMAN Stephen Merchant looks unrecogniseable as serial killer Stephen Port in the upcoming factual BBC drama The Barking Murders.

The first image to be released shows the actor – best known for his comic collaborations with Ricky Gervais – completely transformed as the ‘Grindr killer’.

He’s photographed staring chillingly out his window dressed in a plaid shirt, with sunglasses resting on his chest and his hair combed forward.

“This is a story that can’t be ignored – how four young lives were lost and their families’ brave attempt to uncover what happened,” Stephen said upon joining the all-star line-up, which includes Sheridan Smith, Jaime Winstone and Rufus Jones, in the three parter.

“This factual drama will shed light on their story, so it’s a privilege to be a part of telling it.”

Port attacked four men during 2014 and 2015, using dating app Grindr to lure his victims to their deaths.

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During that time, he gave Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor date-rape drug GHB, before raping and murdering them.

He was sentenced to life in prison in November 2016.

Sheridan plays the mother of Port’s first victim Anthony Walgate, whose first pictures emerged earlier this month, with Jaime taking on victim Jack Taylor’s sister Donna.

Filming for The Barking Murders is continuing, with an air date yet to be announced.

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