The 1983 Brink’s-Mat robbery, which resulted in the theft of roughly £26 million in gold, diamonds and cash (worth more than £100 million today), was the largest British heist of its kind at the time.
To add further drama, the audacious crime turned out to be an inside job. What happened to all of that looted gold, however, is the real enigma, and one that is still largely unsolved.
Gripping BBC One drama The Gold - which recently came to an end but is still available to stream in full on BBC iPlayer - tells the tale of the robbery from its planning stages to the hunt for those responsible.
The engrossing show received critical accolades and plenty of praise from those tuning in, and has left viewers with a question bigger than what happened to the booty - will there be a second series? Here is everything you need to know.
What happened at the end of The Gold season 1?
The Brink’s-Mat police team was seen considering their next course of action as the first series’ final episode came to a close, when they discovered that the gold had been separated at the very beginning of the theft.
As a result, they were only able to locate half of the goods that the thieves had stolen, and they were unsure on how to locate the other half, with Brian Boyce and his crew debating how to proceed with the inquiry.
The Gold season 2 - will it happen?
At this moment in time, it’s not been confirmed whether or not there will be a second series of the show, but writer Neil Forsyth, speaking as part of an interview with the Daily Express, said “we will have to see what happens.”
“There is certainly still story to tell,” he added, suggesting that ideas for further instalments may already be in the minds of the show’s creators, but “for now, I’m just delighted with the reception that this series has received.”
Forsyth’s comments suggest there is room for further story if the opportunity arises, but that the BBC will ultimately decide whether or not to recommission the programme for another run. He continued by saying there were numerous aspects of the story he wanted to put into the programme, but was unable to do so owing to time restrictions.
“There was a lot of story and some fantastic characters that we just didn’t have room for in the show,” he said, “which is one of the reasons that myself and the show’s researcher Thomas Turner have published a book called The Gold to give people the wider story.”
The broadcaster will no doubt be carefully examining the viewership data before making any judgements, but being one of the most watched shows on the iPlayer - where The Gold is still available for binge-watching - fans will be hoping for good news in the not too distant future.
What might happen in season 2 of The Gold?
Were The Gold to get a second series, the inquiry into the location of the stolen goods could be explored further, and given that some of the real-life personalities involved in the heist had rather colourful histories, the show could dive further into the crooks engaged in the crime.
Forsyth, reflecting on what may have happened to the unlocated half of the gold, said he thought “the vast majority was disguised and sold back into the gold market, I don’t think there is some big secret stash of the gold hidden away somewhere.
“What is almost more interesting is what happened to all the money made from selling the gold back into the market, because I think a lot of that money is still out there and will have multiplied many times since,” he added.
A sizable portion of the proceeds from the Brink’s-Mat gold was reinvested in the legitimate gold market. But an equally sizable amount was employed in London’s Docklands regeneration project in the mid-80s and early 90s - a property boom at this time was blamed on the heist’s proceeds funding the construction of apartments nearby.