THE Horwich-born writer of new ITV drama Prey has revealed he based the show’s location on his home town.

Chris Lunt, aged 42, also pictured main character and fugitive, Marcus Farrow, running round the streets of the town when he was first developing the story.

The three-part crime thriller, which started last night, features Life On Mars and Mad Dogs star John Simm as hard-working detective sergeant Marcus.

He is on the run after being framed for the murders of his wife and son.

Father-of-two Mr Lunt, who now lives in Burnley, has teamed up with director and BAFTA winner Nick Murphy and producer Tom Sherry to make the high-octane drama, which features an equally impressive supporting cast including Rosie Cavaliero, Craig Parkinson, Anastasia Hille and Adrian Edmondson.

Mr Lunt said: “I’m from Horwich originally, as is Marcus. To be able to write his character I had to put myself in his shoes.

“In the next episode they all think that he has run off to his home town and back to his family, and when I was writing it I pictured Horwich because when you’re developing a fugitive story you have to know the geography of where you’re talking about.”

Despite being a newcomer, Mr Lunt is no stranger to working in the industry.

He said: “I’m not a youngster — I’ve been working in TV for about 15 years now.

“I used to work for a CGI company and before that I was a camera operator for the Discovery Channel, so I have been in the TV industry for many years.

“Writing is what I have always wanted to do, but it is very difficult to get into.

“I am a big sci-fi fan and at first I was pitching that kind of show, including a potential Doctor Who spin-off to the BBC, but I’m an emerging writer and that is a very difficult genre to sell.

“After receiving advice, I decided to write something more TV-friendly, and a show about a cop on the run seemed like a good start.

“It was first commissioned in May, 2010, when I began to work with Nick Murphy and Tom Sherry, who are both fantastic. Then, when John said he’d play Marcus Farrow I was delighted.

“They say you shouldn’t meet your heroes but that guy is one of mine — and he was exactly what I was hoping he would be, a nice, genuine, funny, down to earth bloke.”

Prey continues next Monday on ITV1 at 9pm.