Fool's Gold

Last Update: 01 September 2003
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Fool's Gold is the nickname for the virtually valueless iron pyrite which often deceives prospectors.

In 1983, a ruthless South London gang thought they had hit the jackpot when, after pouring petrol over guards in a Brinks-Mat warehouse at Heathrow Airport, and threatening to set them alight if they didn't open the safe, they discovered - not the £1 million in cash they were expecting - but three tons of bullion destined for the Far East.

Britain's biggest-ever robbery - the bullion was worth £26 million - led eventually to betrayal, death and misery, and the imprisonment of a dozen people in a series of trials spread over the best part of a decade.

London Weekend Television had to wait until no more trials were pending before they could screen the drama in 1992. Filming took place from 23 March until 23 April, 1992 in the East End of London, in Kent and in Spain where, in time-honoured tradition, some of the villains were believed to have fled. The production was shot on a budget of less than £500,000.



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Sean Bean plays gang leader Micky McAvoy, who is currently serving 25 years in prison. Sharon Maiden appears as his wife Jackie, and Eve Bland as his mistress Kathy.

In spite of McAvoy's belief that his friends would never betray him, the vast bulk of the gold was quickly melted down and was never recovered. About £18 million of the proceeds were traced to various bank accounts. It is said that if you're wearing gold jewellery purchased in the UK after 1983, chances are you're wearing some of the unrecovered bounty from the Brinks-Mat robbery.


Sean Bean
Trevor Byfield
Larry Lamb
George Jackos
Sharon Maiden
Brian Croucher
David Caroy
Rob Spendlove
John Labanowski
Ron Aldridge
Stephen Frost
Jeremy Child
Ronald Nunnery
Eve Bland

Micky McAvoy
Jimmy Kimpton
Kenneth Noye
The Brother
Jackie McAvoy
Brian Robinson
Tony Black
Bernie Clarke
Dep. Asst. Com. Brian Worth
Georgie Bishop


Produced by
Costume Design
Film Editing
Tranmission Date
Video/DVD Release

London Weekend Television (1992)
Robin Paxton (executive) & Jeff Pope
Terry Winsor
Jeff Pope and Terry Winsor
Dick Pope
William Woolf
Ita Murray
Trevor Waite
14 November 1992
08 July 2003 (North America)

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