Drama on pier as stars in town

Filming of "Mrs Biggs" starring Daniel Mays and Sheridan Smith, on Blackpool's North Pier

Filming of "Mrs Biggs" starring Daniel Mays and Sheridan Smith, on Blackpool's North Pier

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STARS of the small screen have used a Blackpool attraction for their latest drama.

Actors Daniel Mays and Sheridan Smith were on location at North Pier shooting scenes for Mrs Biggs, a five-part drama about the wife of Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs.

The drama, due to hit screens in the Autumn, was being filmed in Blackpool to represent Brighton Pier where Biggs visited before the infamous 1963 robbery when £2.6m was stolen.

Ashes to Ashes actor Daniel Mays plays Ronnie Biggs, who marries Charmain, played by Gavin and Stacey star Sheridan Smith.

Biggs’ remarkable life saw him escape HM Wandsworth Prison in 1965 and flee to Australia with Charmain and their three sons.

He lived as a fugitive for 36 years before voluntarily returning to the UK in 2001 where he spent eight years in prison before being released on compassionate grounds.

Scenes shot at North Pier depicted the time leading up to the robbery when the couple were struggling to get money together to buy a house.

Aaron Sooter, 24, a location manager working on the drama from Layton, said: “We are mocking this up to look like Brighton Pier.

“The main story is set in and around London but we are here to film on the beach and in a Blackpool flat.

“These scenes show how he has agreed to the Great Train Robbery but wins £400 on the horses in Brighton and can’t back out.”

The Granada crew were only in Blackpool for one day before jetting out to Australia where filming continues.

Writer and executive producer Jeff Pope, said: “Charmain’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 Charmain and Ron.”