Sheridan Smith leads cast of Mrs. Biggs

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 20 February 2012
Sheridan Smith with Charmian Biggs

Sheridan Smith with Charmian Biggs

Sheridan Smith is to play the title role in upcoming ITV1 drama 'Mrs. Biggs', which documents the life story of the wife of legendary train robber Ronnie Biggs

Sheridan Smith is to play the title role in upcoming ITV1 drama 'Mrs. Biggs'.

The 'Gavin and Stacey' actress will portray Charmian Biggs - the wife of legendary train robber Ronnie Biggs - in the new series, which will document the life of the character from when she met the infamous criminal on a train when she was just a teenager.

Sheridan said: "When I received the call to say that I'd got this job I burst into tears. Charmian is an incredible woman, and I'm so lucky that she'll be on hand to support me and give me advice during the shoot.

"I hope that I can do her story justice."

Meanwhile, 'Made In Dagenham' actor Danny Mays will assume the iconic role of Ronnie Biggs in the five-part drama, which was penned by Jeff Pope.

Jeff explained: "Charmian's is one of the great untold stories of the 20th Century, set against the backdrop of one of the greatest crimes of all times. But at the heart of it is a simple love story between Charmian and Ron."

'Mrs. Biggs' will chronicle the life of Charmian from when she met Ronnie, to her reaction to finding out he was behind the Great Train Robbery of August 1963, to secretly emigrating to Australia with her husband and three sons when he dramatically escaped over the wall of Wandsworth Prison.

Despite helping to keep Ronnie hidden for more than four years, he eventually had to leave Australia bound for the Brazilian capital Rio de Janeiro, leaving her to bring up the couple's three sons - one of whom died in a car accident aged just 10 - alone.

However, Charmian - who is acting as a consultant to the production - was left heartbroken when her beloved husband asked her for a divorce after he fathered a child with a local nightclub dancer in Rio, telling her it would help him to persuade Brazilian authorities to allow him to stay in the country.

Charmian said: "If my story were to be dramatised I wanted it to be done as accurately as possible. It seemed to me this was an opportunity to convey the rollercoaster of emotions involved, rather than just the bare facts."

In development for the past four years, 'Mrs. Biggs' - which is co-produced by December Media for the Seven Network in Australia - will be shot over the next 10 weeks in Manchester and Australia.

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