A hit BBC show where Kent takes centre stage has been renewed for a second season, it has been confirmed.
Fans of the rip-roaring heist drama The Gold will welcome the news that Hugh Bonneville and many of his co-stars will be returning to the small screen soon.
The show is a re-telling of one of the nation's biggest ever crimes - the theft of £26 million of gold from the Brink's-Mat warehouse in Heathrow and how the criminal gang behind it turned their ill-gotten gains into hard cash, as well as the huge police hunt to track them down.
Filming for the new season is expected to start in January, with Bonneville reprising his role as gritty detective Brian Boyce.
He will be rejoined by season one regulars Charlotte Spencer (Nicki Jennings), Emun Elliott (Tony Brightwell), Tom Cullen (John Palmer), Stefanie Martini (Marnie Palmer) and Sam Spruell (Charlie Miller).
Further casting is expected to be revealed during filming.
Writer and executive producer Neil Forsyth said: "I am delighted that we have been given the opportunity to tell the rest of the Brink's-Mat story, which sees the consequences of the robbery and its aftermath grow only more surprising, dramatic and far-reaching, both in Britain and around the world."
Lindsay Salt, director of BBC Drama, added: “We’re immensely proud to partner with Neil Forsyth and the team to continue the story of The Gold.
“Millions of viewers across the UK were enthralled with its gripping and confident exploration of the fallout from the notorious Brink’s-Mat robbery and, as we saw, there’s still so much more left for DCS Boyce and the team to uncover.”
Series one of The Gold launched on BBC One and BBC iPlayer earlier this year to 8.7 million viewers for its first episode, placing it in the UK’s top five most-watched new dramas of the year so far across all platforms and channels.
However, the series came under fire from some close to the case, with much criticism reserved for the portrayal of Kenneth Noye – by actor Jack Lowden – as something of a loveable rogue.
Noye, who at the time lived in West Kingsdown, was a key figure in turning the Brink's-Mat gold into hard cash – a man with good contacts and the ability to, for the most part, conceal his tracks.
He admitted to killing DC John Fordham, who had been part of a surveillance team involved in the Brink's-Mat investigation, after finding him in the grounds of his home. Charged with murder, Noye was cleared by a jury on the grounds of self-defence. He would, however, go on to be jailed for his role in handling the stolen bullion.
Perhaps even more notorious, in 1996 he stabbed and killed Dartford electrician Stephen Cameron on a slip-road of the M25 at Swanley in what, at the time, was dubbed the M25 road rage murder. He fled the country and evaded arrest for two years before finally being tracked down in Spain. He served 20 years behind bars before being released in 2019.
You can read more about the various elements in the real story – and Kent’s role in it – in our feature here.
The first series of The Gold is still available to stream on BBC iPlayer.