TV bosses behind a drama based on the murder of Rhys Jones say they are making it with the support of the Croxteth schoolboy鈥檚 family.

News of the four-part factual drama was revealed yesterday as photos emerged of filming taking place at a pub near Wigan.

ITV , which has commissioned the series, today said it is based on 鈥渃areful research鈥?and had the support of Rhys鈥?parents, Melanie and Steve.

Camera crews were spotted filming the drama, to be called Little Boy Blue, at a pub in Astley on Monday.

The venue, which is being used as a stand in for the Fir Tree pub, outside which Rhys was killed, could be seen decked in floral tributes with forensics tents also pictured in the car park.

A spokeswoman today told the ECHO: 鈥淲e can confirm ITV has commissioned a four-part factual drama entitled Little Boy Blue focused on the murder of 11-year-old Rhys Jones in Croxteth, Liverpool , in 2007.

鈥淩hys鈥?parents Melanie and Steve are supporting the making of the drama, which is based on careful research.

鈥淭he drama will explore Melanie and Steve鈥檚 ordeal, and will tell the story of how Rhys鈥?murderer and associates were eventually brought to justice.?/p>

Rhys Jones. Photo from Merseyside Police/PA Wire
Rhys Jones. Photo from Merseyside Police/PA Wire

Rhys was shot dead in August 2007 as he returned home from football practice in his Everton FC kit.

The innocent schoolboy was caught in the crossfire as Sean Mercer, then 16, fired across the Fir Tree car park at a rival gang member.

Mercer was found guilty of murder and jailed for a minimum of 22 years.

News of the drama has divided the opinion of ECHO readers, though some of the concern centred on how it would impact on Rhys鈥?family.

ITV added that Little Boy Blue has been written by writer and executive producer Jeff Pope and will be produced by Kwadjo Dajan and directed by Paul Whittington. All three worked on Cilla, which profiled the rise of Cilla Black.

Images which show the shooting of a new ITV drama
Images which show the shooting of a new ITV drama

Liverpool actor Stephen Graham has been cast as SIO Dave Kelly, who led the investigation into Rhys鈥檚 murder on behalf of Merseyside Police, and Sinead Keenan and Bryan F O鈥橞yrne will play Melanie and Steve Jones.

Filming is also expected to take place at locations in Liverpool.

The ECHO has attempted to contact Melanie and Steve Jones.