The famous train robber, the inventor of the AK-47 and one part of legendary pop duo 'The Everly Brothers'...an unlikely trio of characters, but what do they have in common? Over the last few weeks, Ronnie Biggs, Mikhail Kalashnikov and Phil Everly passed away and Arena has found rare glimpses of all three characters in its archives.
BBC News: December 2013 - January 2014
Ronnie Biggs: 8 August 1929 - 18th December 2013
British criminal Ronnie Biggs who took part in the 1963 Great Train Robbery, died aged 84. He was part of the gang which escaped with £2.6 million from the Glasgow to London mail train on 8 August 1963. After escaping from Wandsworth prison in 1965, he became famous for 'going on the run' around the world. Firstly to Europe, then Australia and finally to Brazil, where he sought refuge from 1970 to 2001 before returning to the UK. Where the police couldn't touch him, Arena caught Ronnie attending Rio's Mardi Gras in 1988 during a special live broadcast of the Mardi Gras celebrations. With his robbing days behind him, Ronnie talked about his new found skill, the Samba, and we see a live jam session with some of New Orleans finest Rhythm and Blues talent. The set features The Neville Brothers, Allen Toussaint, The Dirty Dozen, The Dixie Cups, The Golden Eagles and The Mardi Gras Mambo.
Famous criminal Ronnie Biggs interviewed during Mardi Gras celebrations in Rio
Arena: All On A Mardi Gras Day (1988). Directed by Mary Dickinson, Series Editor - Anthony Wall
Mikhail Kalashnikov: 10 November 1919 - 23rd December 2013
In 1947, Mikhail Kalashnikov developed the AK-47. His automatic rifle became one of the most familiar weapons on the planet, employed by the armies of dozens of countries and becoming the symbol of revolution around the world. More than 70 million Kalashnikovs have been made in over 15 different countries, yet Mikhail has never received a penny, once complaining he would have been financially better off designing a lawnmower. Arena filmed Mikhail in Russia for the 1994 film 'Kalashnikov'. Armed with one of his own creations, he stalks a Moose in the Russian wilderness and is confronted with the question "What do you say to the families of people killed by your gun?"
Creator of the AK-47, Mikhail Kalashnikov, stalks a Moose in the Russian wilderness
Arena: Kalashnikov (1994), Directed by Paul Gruebel-Lee, Series Editor - Anthony Wall
Phil Everly: January 19 1939 - January 3rd 2014
Legendary musician Phil Everly, one half of the Everly Brothers died aged 74 in California. Phil and his older brother Don were the children of Midwestern country music singers and performed on the family radio show while growing up. Between 1957 and 1962, the brothers had 19 top 40 hits, many have crowned them as one of the most important vocal duo's in rock music history. First broadcast in 1984 as part of their reunion after ten bitter years apart, Arena traced their fabulous career, their split and triumphant reunion. Most of all Don and Phil wanted to revisit their roots in the coal mining area of Kentucky where their father Ike, a miner, had been a local guitar star.
Phil and Don Everly revisit their roots in coaliminig area of Kentucky
Arena: The Everly Brothers - Songs of Innocence and Experience (1984). Produced by Alan Yentob, Directed by Anthony Wall.