Home East London Kray twins invaded set of EastEnders legend Barbara Windsor’s film and threatened...

Kray twins invaded set of EastEnders legend Barbara Windsor’s film and threatened to kill crew for filming on their turf


EastEnders legend Barbara Windsor as soon as had a film shoot interrupted by infamous East London gangsters the Kray twins, livid that that they had not been consulted earlier than filming began on their East End turf.

According to the assistant director on the film Peter Medak they even threatened to kill him in a tense first encounter.

Peter, now 82, was talking on a brand new Britbox documentary, Secrets of The Krays, which launched earlier this month.

The assistant director was working carefully with Barbara, who sadly died final 12 months from Alzheimer’s illness aged 83, on the 1963 kitchen sink drama Sparrows Can’t Sing when he was confronted by the legendary gangsters who pulled up to set in their limos.

Peter mentioned the producers had been given the all-clear by the Met to film throughout the East End, however they hadn’t thought to seek the advice of with the un-official authority in East London, the Krays.

The twin gangsters marched up to Peter and demanded to know why they hadn’t been requested for permission for the filming to go forward

He added that he was the one left to cope with the 2 imposing crime lords once they invaded the set in glossy black limos on the day filming began.

“Out of them had about 5 – 6 guys wearing darkish fits and they mentioned, ‘Who’s in cost?'” Peter informed.

“The crew was pointing at me and mentioned, ‘That geezer over there’. And these two guys came to visit and mentioned to me, ‘Who gave you permission to shoot right here? Because no one requested us.’

“I mentioned, ‘Obviously the police, as a result of now we have permission for filming in all of the streets of the East End’. And they mentioned, ‘Nobody requested us and you may get into huge hassle.’

“I mentioned, ‘Like what?’ and they mentioned, ‘Like getting killed’.”

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Ronnie and Reggie Kray had been infamous within the East End within the 50s and 60s for working a safety racket throughout the realm, those that did not pay up usually suffered the results in a violent method.

The pair’s felony exploits had been immortalized in 2016 by Tom Hardy, who performed each brothers within the film Legend.

Peter defined that so as for the manufacturing to proceed filming the producers had been compelled to signal a contract with the Krays and their ‘enterprise’.

“They put the so-called safety racket on us and we had to make use of two of their minders,” he revealed.

“We shot within the Kentucky Club, which was their headquarters on the time, and our two ‘protectors’ appeared within the film as extras.”

Frances Shea (1943 - 1967, far left) and her husband, English gangster Reggie Kray (1933 - 2000, far right) with actress Barbara Windsor and her husband Ronnie Knight, an associate of the Krays, at the El Morocco nightclub, owned by the Kray Twins in Soho, London, 30th April 1965. (Photo by Larry Ellis/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Reggie Kray (far proper) and his spouse Frances Shea (far left) with Barbara Windsor and her husband Ronnie Knight, an affiliate of the Krays, at one of their golf equipment in 1965

Despite the threatening nature of their first encounter and typically unsavoury enterprise practices, Peter mentioned the twins had been “very pleasant” and would get pleasure from spending time on set.

He did recall an incident the place a barman at The Kentucky Club, the Krays’ headquarters, was taken out the again and overwhelmed for taking fee from one of the film crew.

According to Peter the brothers justified the beating, saying “these are our visitors and you’ll be able to’t cost them cash”.

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Barbara Windsor, who was made a Dame again in 2016, recalled the premiere of the film in her autobiography, writing: “The twins and their brother Charlie had stars in their eyes. And when Ron heard the premiere for Sparrows Can’t Sing was being held on the ABC, reverse the Kentucky Club, he recommended the Kentucky throw a celebration.

“But tons of celebrities together with Roger Moore, Stanley Baker and Ronnie Fraser went to the Kentucky, dined on jellied eels and fish and chips and drank courtesy of the brothers Kray till the early hours of the morning.”

Reggie Kray and Barbara Windsor at a film premiere with husband Ronnie Knight, the pair were married 22 years despite his gangster connections

Reggie Kray and Barbara Windsor at a film premiere with husband Ronnie Knight, the pair had been married 22 years regardless of his gangster connections

You can watch unique documentary collection Secrets of The Krays now on Britbox.