Catch the Hatton Garden burglars on ITV Choice

The true story of four old men, a vault full of jewels, and the biggest heist in British history.

ITV Choice has scooped a brand-new four-part mini-series dramatising the real events surrounding the infamous Hatton Garden heist, which was staged by four elderly gentlemen … who just happened to be veteran thieves.

The real Hatton Garden heist

Theirs was the biggest burglary in English history. Four elderly men who dedicated their lives to the trade of looting, scamming and brazen thievery succeeded in pulling off an outrageous jewellery heist in the commercial estate of Hatton Garden, known as the diamond district of London. The dramatic mini-series is based on the incident, which occurred in April 2015 when an underground safe deposit facility was ransacked of jewellery and gold to the suspected value of almost £200 million. The thieves were ultimately caught and jailed, but it was a story that captivated Britons, and the world, for many months.

Led by experienced ringleader Terry Perkins, the thieves worked through the long weekend of the Easter break, when many of the businesses were closed. An underground fire in the Victorian tunnels in nearby Holborn meant local emergency services had their hands full for several days, with hundreds of people evacuated from the area – coincidence, or the perfect distraction?

So elaborate was their plan that there were no visible signs of forced entry to the facility. It seemed they had entered the premises through a lift shaft, then drilled their way through the 50cm-thick vault wall with a power drill. Once in, the quartet got to work. They opened more than 70 safety deposit boxes overnight, before quietly letting themselves out just after 6am the following morning.

A band of thieves

Timothy Spall (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) leads the cast as Terry Perkins. While pop culture tends to glorify villains, Spall feels strongly that the thieves: “are not loveable rogues. They are criminals and criminality requires ruthlessness”. Kenneth Cranham takes on the role of mastermind Brian Reader, who thought through every detail – except the getting caught part, obviously. Of course, no grand larceny crew is complete without an alarm specialist. You know, that fella who can override even the most secure alarm system? Enter Michael Seed, AKA Basil. His character is brought to life by Brian F O’Byrne, while Alex Norton plays Kenny Collins, a crook who could never pass up on a shot at easy money, consequences be damned.

Recreating reality for TV is no simple ask, but Hatton Garden has snapped up a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 86%, and The Observer (UK) commented that “ITV and writer-executive producer Jeff Pope and a supreme little cast got to tell it as it really was.”

Watch this crime drama on Wednesdays on ITV Choice (123) at 20:00