The BBC has ordered a new comedy thriller, Black Ops, from BBC Studios Comedy Productions and Mondo Deluxe and The Gold, a new drama inspired by the Brink’s-Mat robbery from Tannadice Pictures, an Objective Fiction partner, and VIS, a division of ViacomCBS.

The six-part (6×30) comedy thriller, Black Ops, is created by BAFTA award winning actress and writer Gbemisola Ikumelo (Famalam, Brain In Gear), BAFTA award winning actor and producer Akemnji Ndifornyen (Famalam, The Queen’s Gambit), and writing duo, Joe Tucker and Lloyd Woolf (Click And Collect, Witless).

Black Ops is the story of Dom and Kay, who join the Met Police in the hope of cleaning up their community but are unwittingly thrust into the murky world of deep cover infiltration as they become part of a powerful criminal enterprise. But for Dom and Kay it quickly becomes more of a fiasco than Donnie Brasco…

Gbemisola Ikumelo, Creator and Writer says: “These characters have been swimming around in my head for a long time and so finally seeing them get to live and speak and just be ridiculous is super exciting. We have such an amazing team bringing this to life and I hope audiences really fall in love with them like I have.”

Akemnji Ndifornyen, Creator and Producer says: “Black Ops is something special and I can’t wait to take you all on this adventure with Dom and Kay!”

Josh Cole, Head of Comedy at BBC Studios Productions, says: “We could not be more excited to be producing Black Ops for the BBC. The show is an ambitious comedy thriller and a passion project for all involved. BBC Studios has long been the home of British comedy, and we’re delighted to continue our relationship with the ridiculously talented and indeed multi-talented quartet of Gbemi, Akemnji, Joe and Lloyd.”

Gregor Sharp, Commissioning Editor at the BBC, says: “Gbemi, Akemnji, Joe and Lloyd have created a show that combines roller coaster adventure with beautifully observed character comedy and we’re thrilled to bits with the team BBC Studios have assembled to bring it all to life.”

Casting and broadcast details will be announced in due course.

Black Ops (6×30) is a BBC Studios Comedy Production, co-produced with Mondo Deluxe. It is created by Gbemisola Ikumelo (Brain in Gear), Akemnji Ndifornyen (Famalam), Joe Tucker (Witless) and Lloyd Woolf (Witless), and was commissioned by Tanya Qureshi, Head of Comedy for the BBC. The series is produced by Akemnji Ndifornyen and the Executive Producer for BBC Studios Productions is Josh Cole. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Gregor Sharp and BBC Studios is the international distributor for the series.

The Gold is billed as a gripping new drama inspired by the iconic true story of the Brink’s-Mat robbery and the decades-long chain of events that followed. Dramatising the ‘crime of the century’, the six-part series was commissioned by Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama and will be written by Neil Forsyth (Guilt, Eric, Ernie & Me). It is a co-production between Tannadice Pictures, an Objective Fiction partner, and VIS, a division of ViacomCBS for BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

On the 26 November 1983, six armed men broke into the Brink’s-Mat security depot near London’s Heathrow Airport, and inadvertently stumbled across gold bullion worth £26m. What started as ‘a typical Old Kent Road armed robbery’ according to detectives at the time, became a seminal event in British criminal history, remarkable not only for the scale of the theft, at the time the biggest in world history, but for its wider legacy.

The disposal of the bullion caused the birth of large-scale international money laundering, provided the dirty money that helped fuel the London Docklands property boom, united blue and white collar criminals and left controversy and murder in its wake.

Neil Forsyth, says, “We’re delighted to be working with the BBC on our first Tannadice Pictures production. The story of the Brink’s-Mat gold is a thrilling, surprising and tragic story and I am excited to be able to tell it”.

Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama says, “This is so much more than the story of an armed robbery. The Gold looks beyond the auspices of the theft itself to explore how the case united the criminal underworld with corporate finance, caused personal tragedy and spawned one of the most shocking, influential and mysterious cases in British criminal history.”

The Gold (6×60’) is the first commission from Tannadice Pictures, the joint venture set up by Neil Forsyth and Objective Fiction. Tommy Bulfin will executive produce for the BBC; Neil Forsyth and Ben Farrell for Tannadice Pictures; and Kate Laffey, Vice President, VIS, and Jill Offman, Managing Director at 66 Media for VIS.

Jon Creamer

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