The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe: Where are the Darwins’ sons now and did they ever forgive their dad?


Viewers from all over the country will be sitting down tonight to catch the latest episode of The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe. The four-part drama tells the real-life story of John and Anne Darwin who attempted to grab £250,000 in life insurance after faking John’s death.

Shortly after what is now known as the ‘canoe accident’, Anne reported her husband missing. After emergency services carried out an extensive investigation, John was legally declared dead.

In reality, the former prison officer went into hiding and was staying next door to the family home the whole time.

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The couple carried out the plot in a desperate attempt to clear themselves of the huge amount of debt they had accumulated. Throughout this whole period of scheming and lying, John and Anne never told their sons what they were up to and left the two young lads to mourn the loss of their father who was actually still alive next door.

It didn’t take long for the authorities to figure out John and Anne were lying and their scam soon came to light with John being sentenced to six years and three months in prison and Ann being sentenced to six years and six months. Amid all the controversy, many may be wondering where Mark and Anthony Darwin are now around 20 years after John’s fake death.



Monica Dolan as Anne Darwin, Eddie Marsan as John Darwin in The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe

What happened to Mark and Anthony Darwin?

Anthony was abroad in Canada with his wife when his father disappeared. He has previously explained his feelings of betrayal after seeing the photo that exposed his parents of him. He said: “My initial reaction was that someone had stuck it together on Photoshop.

“The following day I read about it in the paper. I felt upset, betrayed, I don’t know. I had no inkling that he was still alive.”

Since the incident, Anthony has avoided the majority of media attention. He has reportedly reconciled with his mother but has had no contact with his father.

Meanwhile, Mark has also avoided a lot of media attention since the incident. He is reportedly married with two children and was last known to be living in Hertfordshire.

He claims to have forgiven his mother and went as far as to invite her to holiday in Spain. In an interview with the Daily Mail he said: “I want my children to have a good relationship with their grandmother. But yes, of course, in time I will have to explain to them what she did. I need to do it before someone else in the playground does. How they will feel then is another matter. But I trust the kids around her. And that is important.”

He has also noted that while he prefers his father alive, it does not change the fact that he was lied to.

Both Mark and Anthony provided evidence in court during their mum’s trial in 2008. In 2016, Mark noted that: “What I have gone through to get to a stage where I can forgive has been tough. It’s taken deep thought and a difficult process of accepting her faults.”

Apparently, one of the sons actually sneaked onto the set of The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe while wearing a disguise. Eddie Marsan, who plays John in the show said: “We had no idea until a few weeks later. He had come in with a baseball cap and a Covid mask on to watch. We didn’t get any feedback.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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