The real-life story of an audacious robbery by veteran criminals

The multi-million-pound robbery of the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company by a gang of aged thieves was a tale always destined for our screens and Jeff Pope has turned it into an engaging drama.

The four-part series starring Timothy Spall and Kenneth Cranham may have been delayed by legal reasons for 18 months, but it’s finally arrived and it’s definitely been worth the wait.

Timothy plays gang member Terry Perkins: “He’s at the end of his career as a professional criminal,” he tells TV Times.

“And he’s on his uppers, but he has a daughter and wants to leave something behind for her.

“He needs a job because the law has frozen anything he’s made from past endeavours, so he’s in the last chance saloon.”

Timothy Spall, Kenneth Cranham and Thomas Coombes

Diamond wheezers: Timothy Spall, Kenneth Cranham and Thomas Coombes

Tonight’s opening episode is pure heist, yet it’s possible to see the cracks forming which will eventually bring down this group of veteran crooks.

Pope (who wrote Cilla for Sheridan Smith) skillfully resists the urge to glamourise their crime as this drama plays out over the next three nights.

TV Times rating: *****