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They’re probably the most notorious gangsters in British history, but if you thought everything worth saying about the Krays had already been said, you’d be mistaken.
The first original documentary on streaming site BritBox, Secrets Of The Krays, chronicles the rise and fall of Ronnie and Reggie Kray, from the growth of their criminal empire in early 60s London to their arrest and conviction.
Boasting access to the inner workings of the Kray’s criminal enterprises, this three-part series features never before seen artefacts, audio recordings and MI5 files as well as interviews with some of the twins’ closest associates – some of whom have never spoken on camera before.
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Audiences will learn how the Kray twins dazzled the social elite as they bludgeoned their way to the top of the East End pecking order, gaining control of the area in the process.
Beneath the superficial sparkle that saw them rubbing shoulders with the likes of stars such as Dame Barbara Windsor and Judy Garland, there was extreme violence.
Maureen Flanagan – a former Page 3 model – was a close family friend of the Krays, having worked as a hairdresser for the twins’ mum, Violet. She knew them better than most and continued to visit Ronnie and Reggie even after they were imprisoned in 1969 for murder.
In an interview with Tyla, she said: "They could be so generous.They were always stopping in on women who had babies to give them money to help look after them.”
The 80 year old continued: "But they always had their eye on new businesses to see how there was some little way to get into something, and make money from it. They could be very mercenary. They muscled in on anything and everything people had."
Sure they were charming, but it was the twins’ violent tempers and brute force that drove their financial gain. Pubs and clubs around London would pay to stay on their good side, handing over huge sums of money to The Firm.
The documentary series – all three episodes of which are now available exclusively on BritBox – contains revelatory interviews from former gang members. This includes Micky Fawcett who has never spoken on the record until now.
With access to these major players in the Krays’ network, as well as their lawyers, the documentary reveals what until now has been left untold.
This is a must-watch for anyone looking to learn more about two of Britain’s most brutal gangsters.
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