Nick Russell-Pavier is a writer, dramatist, director, TV and film composer and producer.
How ‘The Great Train Robbery - Crime of the Century’ (Weidenfeld & Nicolson 2013) came to be written.
Nick first became interested in the story of ‘The Great Train Robbery’ when Stewart Richards sent him a treatment in 2009 for a television drama that he’d been developing with Chris Pickard, a close associate of Ronnie Biggs. The premise was a celebration of the criminals and their crime and reinforced the existing mythology created in previous books and films rather than challenged it.
In exploring ways to find new ground Nick read all the books on the subject, began to look in public records and newspaper archives and two things became apparent. First, that all the previous books, films and accounts had significant flaws and failed to tell the whole story. As a result, public perception of the 1963 mail train robbery contained a number of fundamental misconceptions. Second, that the real story was much more interesting but too multi-layered and complex to adequately capture in a TV dramatization.
The idea for a new book for the 50th anniversary of the crime came out of Nick trying to make sense of it all and he invited Stewart to help him with the enormous task of research for which he received a well-deserved co-credit.
The acclaimed narrative that Nick devised and wrote sets out the story of the 1963 Glasgow to London mail train robbery in full for the first time and from all sides. It sheds a very different light on the people and events, providing fresh insight, facts and analysis that peel away the mystic and comprehensively debunk the 50-year-old mythology.
Nick is regularly featured across print press and broadcast media as an authority on the Great Train Robbery and its social and cultural context of Britain in the early 1960s.
Notable appearances include an ITV1 'Exposure' documentary (for which he was a consultant and associate producer) broadcast alongside the five part drama serial 'Mrs Biggs'; the BBC series 'Great British Railway Journeys' with Michael Portillo; he is featured extensively in a 90 minute documentary film made by Arte (Association Relative à la Télévision Européenne). Nick was interviewed by Eddie Mair on Radio 4's PM programme; Radio 5 live, numerous BBC Local Radio stations, BBC TV and ITV news following the death of gang member Bruce Reynolds in February 2013. On the 50th anniversary of the GTR on 8th August 2013, Nick did a marathon 19 TV and radio interviews between 7.30am and 10pm. He appeared on all the UK news networks, BBC World and CNN in December 2013 following the death of Ronnie Biggs.
The enduring fascination with the Great Train Robbery has meant that Nick continues to be invited to speak about his 'definitive account' at literary festivals, true crime and other literary events which provides a welcome opportunity to meet and talk to others about their memories of the robbery and the early 60s.
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For further information and contact details for Nick please see his agent's website which can be found through Google.