Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Biggs 'love story' to be TV drama

Ronnie Biggs' wife is telling her story on the small screen

The troubled relationship between Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs and his former wife is to form the basis of a new TV drama series.

Charmian Biggs is acting as a consultant for the ITV five-part drama, which will look at how she continued her life after her husband fled to Brazil to avoid police, abandoning her and their children.

Mrs Biggs - which is being made by some of the team behind Fred West drama Appropriate Adult - begins filming next month.

The programmes follow their first meeting on a train when she was just a teenager and how they went on the run together before settling with their family of three boys in Australia.

They were together Down Under for four years, until he fled to Rio de Janeiro to evade police. He went on to father a child with a Brazilian woman and Charmian eventually agreed to a divorce, which would allow him to remarry and avoid extradition.

Charmian, who was allowed to remain in Australia, said: "If my story were to be dramatised I wanted it to be done as accurately as possible.

"It seemed to me this was an opportunity to convey the rollercoaster of emotions involved, rather than just the bare facts."

Writer Jeff Pope, who has worked on the project for four years, said: "Charmian's is one of the great untold stories of the 20th century, set against the backdrop of one of the greatest crimes of all times. But at the heart of it is a simple love story between Charmian and Ron."

Biggs was jailed for the 1963 robbery but escaped from Wandsworth Prison two years after the £2.6 million heist.

Casting details are still to be announced.

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