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The Great Train Robbery is to be dramatised by the BBC, with Hollywood star Luke Evans portraying the crime’s mastermind, Bruce Reynolds.

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Two 90-minute films coincide with the 50th anniversary of the raid later this year and the announcement of the cast comes just days after Londoner Reynolds’s death.

The films, which will feature Jack Gordon as Ronnie Biggs, will examine the crime from the perspective of both the crooks and the detectives who trailed them.

The gang targeted a mail train from Glasgow in August 1963 and escaped with a then record haul of £2.6million after they pounced in Buckinghamshire. The train driver Jack Mills was struck with an iron bar and never worked again, and it has not been established who delivered the blow. He died in 1970.

The first of the BBC1 films, A Robber’s Tale, begins with an earlier robbery at Heathrow Airport in 1962 and shows how the train heist was planned, rehearsed and executed, from the perspective of Reynolds, who died last week at the age of 81.

Also appearing in the film will be Jack Roth who plays gang member Charlie Wilson, Neil Maskell (playing Ronald “Buster” Edwards), Paul Anderson (Gordon Goody), Del Synnott (Brian Field), Martin Compston (Roy James).

A second film, called A Copper’s Tale, tells the story of Tommy Butler and the team of detectives who sought to bring the gang to justice.

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