Hit investigative podcast – and one of the most listened to on BBC Sounds – Gangster, returns for a new series charting the rise and fall of one of Britain’s richest and most wanted organised criminals, John ‘Goldfinger’ Palmer, ahead of the highly anticipated new BBC One drama The Gold.
Journalist and presenter Livvy Haydock travels from the streets of post-war Birmingham to the sun-kissed beaches of Tenerife to find a litany of violence, mystery, murder and police corruption. Gangster: The Story of John Palmer uncovers how an illiterate lad from a broken home went on to become as rich as the Queen, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake.
Palmer owned a Learjet, a yacht, helicopters, a collection of fast cars and a chateau in France. A wheeler dealer jeweller who started by selling paraffin from the back of a lorry and was catapulted to the top of the criminal world after the Brink’s-Mat heist in 1983 – the largest armed robbery in British history. He smelted millions of pounds worth of the gold, earning himself the moniker ‘Goldfinger.’ He then went on to mastermind a multi-million-pound time share fraud in Tenerife, scamming thousands of innocent victims who lost their life savings.
In a series of exclusive interviews, Livvy Haydock hears from Palmer’s associates and his victims, many of whom have never spoken before, and she meets the detectives who were tasked with bringing him to justice.
Livvy Haydock, journalist and presenter, says: “John Palmer’s story is extraordinary, both in life and in death. For me, it demonstrates just how the cogs of the criminal underworld turn, the complex relationships between villains, the battle between good and bad cop and what it’s like to take over an island! If Britain’s biggest ever gold robbery, the Brink’s-Mat Heist, was a starting point, just imagine what Palmer went on to become.”
Gangster: The Story of John Palmer is available as a box set on BBC Sounds from 1st February.
Tom Cullen plays John Palmer in new BBC drama The Gold, alongside Hugh Bonneville, Jack Lowden and Dominic Cooper.
BBC Radio 5 Live