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Jim Broadbent to play Great Train Robbery detective

Jim Broadbent in Another Year

Story by Jack Foley

JIM Broadbent will play the detective charged with tracking down the Great Train Robbers in the second of two BBC dramas that are being made to mark the 50th anniversary of one of Britain’s most famous robberies.

The actor will play Tommy Butler in The Great Train Robbery: A Copper’s Tale, who led the investigation that resulted in several of the robbers receiving lengthy sentences.

Known as “Grey Fox” for his astuteness, Butler eventually retired from the force in 1969 and died the following year at the age of 57.

Broadbent said that he is “thrilled” to be asked to portray the detective, describing Butler as “a fascinating copper of the old school”.

He added: “I have such strong memories of the massive impact of the actual robbery and it is wonderful to find out from the script so much of the real story.”

The Great Train Robbery: A Copper’s Tale will follow the first drama, A Robber’s Tale, which views the heist from the perspective of its perpetrators. Luke Evans has previously been announced as the star of that film, playing the raid’s key planner Bruce Reynolds. Find out more

Broadchurch scribe Chris Chibnall is executive producing and writing both of the Great Train Robbery dramas. He described Broadbent’s presence as “a dream piece of casting”.

The actor won an Oscar in 2001 for playing the husband of writer Iris Murdoch in Iris and a Bafta in 2007 for playing the campaigner Lord Longford.

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