Search icon


21st Feb 2023

Tragic death of teenage Harry Potter star Rob Knox explored in new documentary

‘Your lack of regret let alone remorse was truly chilling’

The death of Harry Potter star Rob Knox is being explored in an award-winning documentary coming to ITVX on Thursday.

The actor, who played the role of Marcus Belby in the franchise, died protecting his younger brother, Jamie, in a bar brawl in Sidcup, south-east London, in May 2008.

Knox was just 18-years-old.

Karl Bishop, who was 22 at the time, stabbed Knox five times as he defended his 17-year-old sibling.

He also injured four of Knox’s friends, most seriously Dean Saunders, 23, who was left with permanent spinal damage after being stabbed in the neck, and Andrew Dormer, 17, who was stabbed in the chest as he tried to disarm Bishop, according to a Guardian report at the time.

Bishop was found guilty of murder in March 2009 and sentence to life imprisonment, with a minimum sentence of 20 years before parole is considered.


During sentencing, Mr Justice Bean told Bishop “the truth is that you simply could not care less whether you killed him or not”, and added: “Your lack of regret let alone remorse was truly chilling.”

Knox posthumously appeared in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in 2009. While Knox’s character did not appear in J.K Rowling’s seventh novel, Knox has signed on to reprise his role in the final installment of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Following his death, an annual film festival, the Rob Knox Film Festival, was created in 2008 to commemorate him, by the Rob Knox Foundation which helps fund training for young local people in the arts.

(K)Nox: The Rob Knox Story, sees Knox’s family, friends and Harry Potter cast members – including Jim Broadbent, Ray Winstone, Tom Felton, David Yates, Dani Harmer and Blake Harrison – examine Knox’s life in the lead up to his death.

The doc, awarded Best Feature Documentary at the 2021 London Independent Film Festival, also aims to highlight how, years on from the young actor’s death, knife crime remains a “prolific issue across the UK” and globally.

A synopsis from Q Cumber Films reads: “18-year-old Rob Knox is out celebrating his big break in Harry Potter when he learns that his little brother has been threatened at knife point. He and his friends rush to disarm the man but during the struggle, Rob is stabbed several times and is killed. “Now his family must try to navigate their grief and anger while under the ever-watchful eye of the invasive British media machine. Meanwhile, more young people than ever are losing their lives on the streets. Something has to be done.”

Knox first appeared in ITV drama, The Bill. He was also in Channel 4 reality show, Trust Me, I’m A Teenager, and BBC comedy After You’re Gone. The role of Marcus Belby was his big break.


Harry Potter