Real-life The Gold chief cop to finally tell story in new BBC doc

Hugh Bonneville on the case in The Gold.
Hugh Bonneville as Brian Boyce in The Gold, now hear the real Brian speak... (Image credit: BBC/Tannadice Pictures/Sally Mais)

Detective Chief Superintendent Brian Boyce, played by Hugh Bonneville in BBC hit drama The Gold, will speak on camera for the first time since the Brink's-Mat robbery.

TV fans have been gripped by The Gold, which is based on the infamous 1983 heist, where armed thieves stole £26 million worth of gold from the Brink’s-Mat security depot near London’s Heathrow airport.

At the heart of the drama is Hugh Bonneville's tenacious cop Brian Boyce, who leads the investigation to recover the gold and nail the crooks behind stealing it and laundering the cash.

However, the BBC drama blends fact with fiction, with some of the leading characters made up, including Charlotte Spencer's cop Nicki Jennings.

As Charlotte puts it: "Nicki Jennings is based on a number of women in the police at the time. There were actually lots of women in the Flying Squad because, as women, they were least suspected when on surveillance."

Charlotte Spencer as Nicki Jennings with Emun Elliot as Tony Lighthouse.

Charlotte Spencer as Nicki Jennings, who isn't a real person. (Image credit: BBC)

Now, the BBC is making an accompanying documentary called The Gold: The Real Story, which will give a full factual account of the robbery.

And perhaps the highlight will be seeing Detective Chief Superintendent Brian Boyce speaking on film for the first time since the robbery almost 40 years ago.

Speaking in the documentary, Brian Boyce says: "Our task was far greater than just arresting the robbers, we hadn’t even recovered the dust of the gold. We had to work extremely hard, follow the trail and recover as much of the gold as possible."

Simon Young, BBC’s Head of History adds: "Few robberies are as iconic as Brink’s-Mat or have had such a profound effect on the country. That's why it's so fascinating to hear Brian Boyce and his colleagues give such a frank and unvarnished account of the challenges the police faced in attempting to solve such a colossal crime."

The BBC teases: "Archive footage and eyewitness testimony detail the cat-and-mouse chase across borders and continents and the tracking of a corrupt network of professionals, lawyers and accountants who helped to launder the money through a complex network of foreign bank accounts and companies.

"The Gold: The Inside Story reveals how loopholes in banking practices in the 1980s, the desire to rebuild London’s docklands and a lack of regulation to tackle money laundering, aided the robbers and handlers. These loopholes enabled the transformation of the biggest gold bullion haul in history into cash and in doing so, changed our nation forever."

The BBC is yet to announce when the one-hour documentary will be shown.

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!