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Published: 2001 by Serpent's Tail



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** AND KOBO **

UK Price: £1.99 at Kobobooks.com


Plot outline: Bex and Ollie are a couple of small-time and small-town domestic burglars. They do enough to keep themselves in beer and out of work and have no ambition beyond stealing. Narrator Bex talks and walks us through a dozen note-worthy jobs and give us his thoughts on life, love and nicking.

Influences: Porridge, Minder, Only Fools and Horses, Auf Weidersein Pet, Hancock's Half Hour (in particular Sidney James), The Phil Silvers' Show. Some of the funniest and most memorable characters are those dodgy, dishonest crooks, who'd skin their own grans, but are deep-down (very deep in Bilko's case) basically okay guys who retain a few basic principles that surface from time to time. This was the thinking behind Bex, though all of the above did it with much more class.

Crossovers: In chapter nine, the “serious-looking geezer” they meet carrying the hold-all into Electric's is Chris Benson, narrator of The Bank Robber Diaries. This same scene plays out in his book from his point of view. Also, Bex and Ollie's hometown (which is a small, nameless and fictional, just like half the towns in this country) is the setting for Milo's Marauders. Bex and Ollie are mentioned in the book, but Norris and Parky (two burglars from The Burglar Diaries) and Weasel and Ross (coppers from The Burglar Diaries) and Charlie Taylor (Bex's brief) are some of the main characters. Also, see Milo’s Marauders and Milo’s Run crossovers.

Television Development: The Burglar Diaries was filmed as Thieves Like Us. It starred Tom Brooke as Bex (left) and Fraser Ayres as Ollie (right) and was screened on BBCThree in early 2007. See Thieves Like Us. See also More Burglar Diaries

Trivia: I’d always meant to keep the town in which Bex and Ollie live and work nameless, a sort of any town UK, but when we came to film Thieves Like Us, the BBC insisted on naming the place, so I ended up calling it Tatley, in honour of the town I’d grown up in – Yateley. The name appeared in the series just once, and even then barely, in The Teapot Job, on a town notice board behind Bex and Ollie, just before they meet Norris selling poppies at the war memorial.

Foreign translations: Also published in French by Michel Lafon, Russian by AST, Czech by Argo, Spanish by La Factoria de Ideas, Italian by Kowalski and Taiwanese by Sharp Point.

Audio books: Published on CD as an unabridged title by Whole Story Audio Books. Click HERE for more information:

SHORT BURGLAR DIARIES MOVIE: Fat Beehive Films made a 3 minute movie of the opening chapter of The Burglar Diaries for the 50 Quid Film Challenge. You can watch it on You Tube by clicking here.

As part of his Media Studies course work, college student Will Samuel made a short film based on The Burglar Diaries. His class was tasked with shooting the opening five minutes of a theoretical feature film and Will ended up creating an exciting and funny intro interspersed with stylish credits. Richard Brutan and Lewis Chapman star as Bex and Ollie, while Will did the screenplay himself. Unfortunately, the results have since been taken off the internet, so you'll have to take my word for it.

Awards: Joint Amazon.co.uk Writers' Bursary Award winner 2001

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