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Torquay featured in BBC Great Train Robbery drama

By Herald Express  |  Posted: December 12, 2013

By PAUL GREAVES

COSTUMIER:  Lionel Digby provided

COSTUMIER: Lionel Digby provided

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TORQUAY past and present will feature heavily in a major new TV drama due to air on the BBC just before Christmas.

The Great Train Robbery is a two-part film starring Jim Broadbent, Tim Pigott-Smith and James Fox and being screened on BBC One.

It is a re-telling of the infamous 1963 crime and the subsequent hunt for the perpetrators.

The investigation eventually led to Torquay where gang-mastermind Bruce Reynolds was found 1968 and later sentenced to 25 years in jail.

Filming of those scenes actually took place in Filey with the Yorkshire seaside town doubling as 1960s English Riviera.

But modern-day Torquay will be proudly represented by local theatrical costumier Lionel Digby, who provided many of the authentic period uniforms for the production.

The drama, written by Chris Chibnall, who wrote TV hits Broadchurch and United, tells the story from two perspectives.

A Robber's Tale will be screened first and will be followed the next night by A Copper's Tale.

A Robber's Tale tells the story of the gang whose audacious crime secured £2.6million.

A Copper's Tale, tells the story of Tommy Butler and the team of detectives he assembled to bring the robbers to justice.

Reynolds, who died earlier this year at the age of 81, escaped detection and settled on Braddons Hill Road before the law eventually caught up with him.

The BBC said it filmed in Filey because it was the nearest and cheapest seaside alternative to the production company's base.

Costumes created by Lionel Digby and seen in the programme include a large amount of police, military, post office and railway worker uniforms.

It has been a busy year for Lionel. His costumes have already appeared in Foyle's War, Doctors, Peaky Blinder, The Rise of The Nazis, and an advertisement for Spitfire Beer. He has supplied military uniforms for Harry Hill the Movie, which will hit the big screen on December 20.

A Robber's Tale will be on BBC1 at 8pm on December 18 and a Copper's Tale at the same time on December 19.

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  • dickwadding  |  December 12 2013, 9:22AM

    Filey won't have spent the last 20 years being filled with addicts, criminals, alcoholics and sex offenders, it probably still gets tourists.

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