On the run: Great Train robber Ronnie Biggs' famous jailbreak recreated for ITV drama
12:45 GMT, 31 March 2012
Great Train robber Ronnie Biggs' famous jailbreak has been recreated for the upcoming drama on his life.
The uncannily-similar actor Daniel Mays will be seen scaling a wall and legging it with masked accomplices for the ITV five-part series.
The dramatic scenes were filmed at Stanley Dock in Liverpool, and depict his escape from Wandsworth Prison in 1965.
Legging it: Daniel Mays as Ronnie Biggs, recreates the criminal's famous jailbreak scene in the new ITV drama, Mrs Biggs
Biggs, once Britain’s most wanted
man, and wife Charmian, who stuck by him after the violent 2.6 million
mail-train robbery in 1963, have been thrust back into the limelight for the drama which tells the story of their remarkable
The series, titled Mrs Biggs,
chronicles the couple’s relationship from the moment they met on a
London commuter train in 1957, covering the turmoil unleashed by the
robbery and also their subsequent divorce.
series will recreate the Great Train Robbery in the first episode and
end in 1974 when a heartbroken Charmian discovers her husband is
expecting a child by his new Brazilian girlfriend.
Look out below! Mays jumps over the fence in the scene that was filmed at Stanley Dock in Liverpool
Sheridan Smith plays Biggs’s unshakably loyal wife.
An ITV spokeswoman said: ‘We are telling the story of Charmian Biggs and how she met and fell in love with Ron.
didn’t commit a crime and the drama focuses on how she copes with the
impact of Ron’s involvement in the Great Train Robbery and subsequent
escape from prison and the devastation this caused to her family.’
Charmian has always denied any involvement in the robbery or any prior knowledge of the crime.#
She has said that the first she knew about it was when Biggs returned home with his 140,000 share of the loot in canvas bags.
A little help: Biggs escapes with a masked accomplice
Uncanny similarities: Sheridan Smith plays Biggs' wife Charmain
she stood by him after he was sentenced to 30 years, and followed him
to Australia in 1966 after his audacious breakout from Wandsworth
prison. They adopted false names, started a new life in Melbourne and
had a third child. But in 1969, Interpol were tipped off and Biggs fled
was allowed to stay in Australia with their children. She later
revealed that Biggs had spent all his money. She said: ‘The fortune
Ronald received has been spent. Most of it had to be paid in bribes and
found out that Biggs had fathered a child in Brazil, she agreed to a
divorce. She subsequently sold her own story to an Australian media
group for about 40,000.
Tumultuous relationship: The real Ronnie and Charmian, who was apparently paid a 'consultancy fee' for the movie
The drama is also being filmed in
Manchester, London, Surrey, Buckinghamshire, Adelaide and Melbourne, and
Charmian has been paid a ‘consultancy fee’ by ITV for her help in the
making of the drama.
the payment has caused a row, angering the family of the late Jack
Mills, the driver of the London-bound Post Office train who suffered
serious head injuries during the infamous raid.
Mills’s son John said he thought it was ‘sick’ that people were still
trying to glamorise the robbery. He said: ‘I don’t blame Mrs Brent
[Charmian] personally but I do blame ITV for giving her the money.
Life of danger: Biggs, left after his arrest in 1963, shocked the world with his audacious theft and escape from prison, all of which are documented in the thrilling drama, right
say crime doesn’t pay but I have changed my mind about that one over
the years. Dad received just 45 and a railway tie in official
compensation for what happened.’
Charmian said yesterday: ‘It is not a vast sum, I can assure you. I am not a criminal and it’s my life and I’m entitled to talk about it.’
And the ITV spokeswoman said: ‘It’s important to understand we are not glamorising the Great Train Robbery. This is not our intention, as the focus of the drama is the impact on Charmian. The story is from her perspective.’
No transmission date for the drama has been announced.
Biggs, now 82, returned voluntarily to Britain from Brazil in 2001 and was imprisoned, then in 2009 released after a series of strokes.