Nicki Jennings and Tony Brightwell: Where Are the Investigators Now?

Paramount+’s crime series ‘The Gold’ revolves around the aftermath of the 1983 Brink’s-Mat robbery, exploring DCI Brian Boyce’s efforts to capture Kenneth “Kenny” Noye, who process the stolen gold into money and investments with the help of John Palmer and Edwyn Cooper. Nicki Jennings and Tony Brightwell are the trusted generals of Boyce and they run the investigation into the stolen gold from the start on the field. Nicki and Tony put their lives on the line to unravel the truth behind the startling robbery, making the viewers intrigued about their real-life counterparts. Well, here’s everything you need to know about the same!

Are Nicki Jennings and Tony Brightwell Based on Real Investigators?

Nicki Jennings is not based on a real investigator. However, Tony Brightwell is based on a real police officer, who used to work for the Metropolitan Police, the police service for the Greater London area. Brightwell was a part of the Mets’ Flying Squad, a unit committed to investigating violent crime, most prominently armed robberies. When the authorities were informed about the robbery at the Brink’s-Mat warehouse, the detective rushed to the place, making him one of the officers who first investigated the crime scene. Brightwell made a breakthrough in the case by establishing that the robbery was done with an inside man.

Seven days after the robbery, the officials accompanied six security guards who worked at the warehouse at the time of the crime to re-enact their movements. Brightwell became suspicious of Tony Black’s account. Black was the brother-in-law of known criminal Brian “The Colonel” Robinson. When Black lied about not seeing the robbers, despite being in a position to see them, Brightwell realized who the inside man was. “He [Black] was extremely nervous and, in my opinion, obviously lying,” Brightwell observed, as per Daily Mail. “What does your brother-in-law, Brian Robinson, think about the robbery?” Brightwell asked Black.

Black eventually confessed and identified Micky McAvoy, Robinson, and Tony White as three of the robbers.  Nicki, on the other hand, is a fictional character conceived to represent the female officers who worked in the British police force in the 1980s. Through the character, creator Neil Forsyth explores what it was like to be a female detective during a time when the major police units were filled with men. Nicki’s no-nonsense attitude and determination shed light on the personalities of the several women officers who had to fight for their place in a male-dominated force. When the people around her question her potency to be a detective, it is Nicki who bravely puts her life on the line to solve the Brink’s-Mat robbery case.

At the time of the robbery, officers like Jackie Malton were a part of the force, playing an integral part in the investigation of several cases. Nicki’s characterization can be seen as a homage to officers like Malton. Through her, Forsyth also explores what it takes for an outsider, the daughter of an infamous criminal in Nicki’s case, to find her footing in the British police department.

Where is Tony Brightwell Today?

After the Brink’s-Mat robbery case, Brightwell got involved in the hunt for armed robber John “Goldfinger” Fleming. When Fleming ran off to Spain’s Costa Blanca, his superior sent Brightwell to Spain to arrest him. Brightwell then became the head of the intelligence unit. He eventually parted ways with the police force and moved into private security work. Brightwell collaborated with several private firms including ISC Global and Bishop Investigations. He is 74 years old and most likely still living in England.

Before working for Bishop Investigations, Brightwell reportedly worked for Maxwell Communications as well. Bishop Investigations was a firm established in 1991 by Bob Bishop and ex-Flying Squad member Peter Steger. As per reports, Brightwell served as a director of the firm since 1992. Company records listed him as a “corporate investigator.” Brightwell left Bishop in 2000 and joined Aon Group Limited Claims Consultancy, a business unit within Aon that focused on claims management and reinsurance asset management services. Brightwell, along with his team, reportedly formed a new special investigations section at the place.

Brightwell’s CV also includes time at ISC Global and CMGL’s anti-fraud unit, CGML Corporate Risk Solutions. Between 2006 and 2011, Brightwell served as the president of Staines Rugby Football Club, a rugby club based in Feltham, England, as well.

Read More: Brink’s Mat Robbery: Where Are They Now?