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Tuesday, 20 March, 2001, 14:29 GMT
Reggie Kray's TV legacy
Roberta and Reggie Kray
Reggie served 33 years behind bars for murder
An interview with gangster Reggie Kray on his deathbed is to be screened by the BBC.

The former East End crime boss, who was jailed for murdering Jack "The Hat" McVitie, died last October aged 66 after losing a long battle against cancer.

In the documentary, The Final Word - filmed at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital several days before his death - Kray talks about the many chapters in his life, including London's criminal underworld in the 1960s, which he and twin brother Ronnie dominated.

Also interviewed on the BBC ONE programme to be shown on 29 March, are Reggie's widow Roberta, his barrister John Platts Mills QC and members of the Kray "firm".

A BBC spokesman said: "On his deathbed, Reggie reflects on a happy childhood with his mother Violet and talks of the boys' first brushes with the law and their potential careers in boxing.

"He also recalls the tragic suicide of his first young wife Frances."

Reggie's widow Roberta is also interviewed
Reggie's widow Roberta

The interview, his last to be filmed for television, also touches on Reggie's feelings for his victim, McVitie.

The trial of the Krays and their accomplices in 1969, was one of the longest and most expensive in British legal history.

He was sentenced to life at the Old Bailey with a recommendation that he serve no less than 30 years.

Reggie's older brother Charlie also died last year, while Ronnie died in 1995.

Reggie was officially released from prison by the Home Secretary Jack Straw in August 2000 after serving 33 years behind bars.

Kray spent his last days at a hotel in Norwich where he could fulfil his wish to die in a room with a view overlooking the river.

Kray's wife Roberta and former gangland friends Freddie Foreman and Jerry Powell were at his side when he died.

His lawyer Mark Goldstein described him as "an icon of the 20th century".

The Final Word will be broadcast on BBC ONE at 2100 GMT on 29 March.

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See also:

01 Oct 00 | UK
Last of an infamous trio
11 Oct 00 | UK
End of an era
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