‘A taller, blonder Del Boy’ – new BBC drama’s take on criminal Kenneth Noye
Kenneth Noye, the notorious criminal convicted of the M25 road rage murder, will be given a sympathetic hearing in a new BBC drama.
The actor portraying Noye in The Gold, which begins on BBC One this month, joked that he was playing him as a “Del Boy” figure.
The Gold is a dramatisation of the 1983 Brink’s-Mat robbery and Noye’s key role in fencing £26 million of gold bullion.
It views the crime as a study in social mobility, with Noye and others feeling a sense of injustice that the rich stay rich while the working class struggle.
“That’s how England is,” he tells his wife in the drama. “That lot have it, us lot nick it.”
He says later: “I want to do all right the way the other side of this country does all right. People who come from money, they don’t think much about what’s wrong or right when they want to make more of it.”
Noye is played by Scottish actor Jack Lowden, who adopted a south-east accent for the role and joked of his efforts: “I grew up watching Only Fools and Horses, so basically I’m trying to play a taller, floppier, blonder Del Boy.”
Two years after the Brink’s-Mat robbery, Noye stabbed a Scotland Yard detective in the grounds of his home. He was charged with murder but cleared by a jury, which accepted that he acted in self-defence.
In 1986, he was sentenced to 14 years for his role in the Brink’s-Mat crime and shouted at the jury: “I hope you all die of cancer.”
Then, in 1996, he stabbed 21-year-old Stephen Cameron to death in a road rage attack on the M25 in Kent. He was jailed for murder and released in 2019.
The Gold is also sympathetic towards John ‘Goldfinger’ Palmer, who melted down the gold and was later jailed for fraud. Neil Forsyth, the drama’s writer, said that the Brink’s-Mat story is not a simple tale of villainy.
“Social mobility is an interesting aspect, because it was obviously a theme of the time in the 1980s. I think we examine that,” Mr Forsyth said.
“We are trying to get away from a black-and-white reading of it. No one in the show is an out-and-out criminal living in a world dictated by criminality. They’ve got families and lives.
“Criminality is a tool which they’re trying to use to achieve something,” he said.
Hugh Bonneville plays Brian Boyce, the senior Scotland Yard detective overseeing the case. Charlotte Spencer plays a fictional female detective on the Flying Squad.
The opening moments of the drama show the robbery, during which a terrified guard was doused with petrol.
Ms Spencer said: “You’ve got to have a lot of gall to go up and physically rob a bank. It doesn’t happen any more – if anyone steals money, it’s all done over the internet now.
“In a way, it’s sort of like a slightly modern western. They were the last bank robbers. I kind of like that.”