Derren Brown to turn OAPs into art robbers for new Channel 4 show

The Great Art Robbery will see the television illusionist steal a work by Turner-nominated brothers Jake and Dinos Chapman from art collector Ivan Massow

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Derren Brown has created a zombie apocalypse, risked Russian Roulette and created an army of bank robbers, but now he’s turning his attention to the art world. 

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The Great Art Robbery will see the illusionist attempt to pull off the perfect crime, stealing a painting from right under the nose of renowned art collector Ivan Massow. But because he likes to make it that bit harder for himself, Brown is going to tell Massow exactly which painting he plans to get his hands on – a work by Turner-nominated brothers Jae and Dinos Chapman. Oh, and he’s providing the time of the heist and a photo of the robber too. 

But instead of doing a Danny Ocean and recruiting a team of heist experts, our master illusionist is employing a group of old age pensioners to carry out the act. He’ll give his senior citizens a bit of basic training before they attempt the theft: how to move together in perfect synchronicity; how to deceive the security guard who will have all the information at hand; how to hold their nerve under pressure. But then they’re on their own.

“This has been nerve-wracking for me and my team,” said Brown, “leaving such an extraordinary task entirely in the hands of a group of contributors to pull off. 

“The idea was to use the fact that the elderly tend to be treated as invisible as a strength. There’s only so much training you can give, so many worst-case scenarios you can try to cover. I’m used to feeling in control with these shows – but not with this one. It’s a big caper: fun, edge-of-seat, hopefully taking you to unexpected places.”

The Great Art Robber will sneak its way onto our screens this December on Channel 4. 


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