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The cops nearly killed my gangster' Director's gulp-fiction story revealed

PUBLISHED: 15:53 07 October 2009 | UPDATED: 11:42 12 August 2010

DIRECTOR: Tony Royden.

DIRECTOR: Tony Royden.

A DIRECTOR has described the terrifying moment he almost had blood on his hands when armed police nearly shot one of his actors during a gangland murder scene. BBC music composer turned author and filmmaker Tony Royden was filming his short flick The De

LONDON - SEPTEMBER 05:  (UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS OUT) Dave Courtney attends the premiere of 'Rise of the Footsoldier' at the Vue West End on September 05, 2007 in London England.   (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)

A DIRECTOR has described the terrifying moment he almost had blood on his hands when armed police nearly shot one of his actors during a gangland murder scene.

BBC music composer turned author and filmmaker Tony Royden was filming his short flick The Dealer, now a book, on the River Medway when Red Dwarf's Craig Charles noticed an infrared laser dot on his chest.

He had forgotten to inform the police that he would be filming the bloody scene and horrified passers-by had called the cops as they witnessed what they thought was a brutal murder in broad daylight.

The writer, who will be signing copies of the book this Saturday at The Glades, Bromley, said: "We had been trying to conceal the filming but apparently the police got five different calls telling them someone was being murdered.

"Luckily, Craig Charles was such a professional that the situation was diffused very quickly but it could have been a tragedy. Afterwards the police commissioner said he wanted to charge me for the cost of the police operation but he backed down later."

The filming took place in 2005 but Mr Royden is still hoping to turn the 22-minute movie in to a full length feature film in the future and hopes that by writing it as a book this dream may come true.

All of the actors, which included Cold Feet actor John Thompson and real-life reformed gangster Dave Courtney, from Plumstead, gave their services for free because they liked the script so much.

It tells the story of hard-core East London villain, Danny 'The Dealer' Dempsey, who has settled for a quiet country life in the rural village of Buntleyford, but wakes one morning, in his heavily secured home, to find a letter resting on his pillow.

He refuses to share the contents of the letter even with his closest relatives but is soon acting out of character and turning his peaceful village upside down.

After wracking his brains for a quirky best friend for the protagonist, the inspiration came after Mr Royden was replacing the carpet in his spare room. Upon lifting the underlay, he found a 20-year-old copy of the Daily Telegraph.

He said: "I couldn't believe my luck. Staring me in the face was a news story about a man in Bromley who fired a crossbow bolt through a neighbour's leg and was placed on probation by Bromley Magistrates I even named him 'Bolt'.

"He is a giant of a man who deals with problems in a somewhat medieval fashion. I was extremely grateful for that news story."

kate.nelson@archant.co.uk

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