1980s heist comedy series ‘The Curse’ announced

Channel 4 has ordered a new comedy set in the eighties.

From the award-winning makers of People Just Do Nothing and Murder in Successville, the six-part series begins filming next week.

The Curse is pitched as “a comedy caper set in London in the early 80’s, following a gang of hopeless small time crooks who through their own stupidity and poor judgement find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest gold heists in history.”

It’s based on an infamous 1983 robbery where six men raided a depot near one of London’s airports thinking they’d walk away with £50,000 in cash, only to stumble across seven thousand bars of gold, with a street value of tens of millions.

In a bizarre coincidence of timing, the BBC this week also announced a drama series based on the very same story!

However, Channel 4’s comedy will be a “fictionalised tale” that is only “loosely inspired” by the Brink’s-Mat bullion heist.

Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy at Channel 4, commented: “It’s been such a treat to see these mega comedy talents collide with The Curse. As gripping as it is daft, we’re thrilled to have such an ambitiously funny show from these brilliant creatives coming to Channel 4.”

The Curse is described as “a story of trust, greed, ambition, class and inequality.”

The official synopsis reads: “The 80’s saw the elevation of materialistic values, in a decade where the rich got richer (mainly at the expense of others). The same era saw a rise in armed robberies with local lads taking from the very people they felt were robbing them.

The Curse stars Allan Mustafa (playing Albert Fantoni), Steve Stamp (playing Sidney Wilson), Hugo Chegwin (playing Phil ‘The Captain’ Pocket) and Tom Davis (playing Big Mick Neville), a group of hapless small-time criminals who become embroiled in the plot.

“They are normal working-class men who just dabble in low level crime to make ends meet during the recession hit decade. But the naïve gang royally bite off more than they can chew with the heist and subsequently are stuck with the impossible task of coming up with a plot to rid themselves of the loot before they get nicked or even worse, end up dead…”

Father Brown actress Emer Kenny stars as Natasha, wife of criminal Albert, who narrates the story.

Star and co-writer Steve Stamp said: “I’ve always wanted a mullet so really this is just an excuse to do that. But also an absolute privilege to work with such a talented group of people and to be making something with this level of scale and ambition. Really excited to start shooting.”

His co-star Tom Davis added: “Ever since first meeting Allan, Steve and Hugo myself and James have been buzzing to work with them. Channel 4 has such an incredible history in bringing working class stories to life, we’re excited to add this tale to the mix.”

The Curse will premiere in the UK on Channel 4 in 2022.

The cast also includes Peter Ferninando (The Letter for the King) as “proper” gangster Crazy Clive Cornell, Ambreen Razia (This Way Up) as Detective Thread, Geoff Bell (His Dark Materials) as Detective Saunders, and Michael Smiley (Luther) as Ronnie Gatlin.