Ross Kemp has said he has "respect" for the gang who planned the Millennium Dome heist while promoting his new ITV documentary on Lorraine on Wednesday.

The television hard man is fronting a new show on the historic plot, which happened on November 7, 2000 and saw a group attempt a robbery on a £350million diamond display at what was the Millennium Dome.

The 56-year-old spoke of the attempted robbery with Lorraine Kelly, saying it was a "very different" time back then.

He said: "On this robbery, thankfully no-one was hurt.

"A sneaky respect for the guys prepared to do that, most guys these days rob with their laptop but these guys got up and did something.

Ross said he has a 'sneaky respect' for the Millennium Dome robbers
Ross said he has a 'sneaky respect' for the Millennium Dome robbers

"So sadly, or happily, however you look at it, these guys got arrested."

The former EastEnders star explained: "It was 20 years ago and very different times in those days.

"A lot of people were paid in cash, people thought it was cool to drink water out of plastic bottles, people smoked openly and the biggest selling phone didn't have a camera and certainly wasn't smart.

"There were a lot of armed robberies in those days, with 250 in London alone."

Ross is fronting a new documentary on the Millennium Dome heist tonight (Wednesday)
Ross is fronting a new documentary on the Millennium Dome heist tonight (Wednesday)

Ross described the gang's plan as "a little James Bond-esque" as they had planned on getting away with the stash of diamonds on a speed boat.

The Millennium Dome had a De Beers display on exhibition, which featured the £200m Millennium Star diamond of 203.04 carats, as well as a collection of blue diamonds.

The Metropolitan Police Service's Flying Squad foiled the plan though after information from Kent Police Serious Crime, who were already watching the gang members due to their suspected roles in other unsuccessful robberies.

The robber planned to take the £200m Millennium Star diamond of 203.04 carats
The robber planned to take the £200m Millennium Star diamond of 203.04 carats

Three of the suspected robbers were seen at the Dome on September 1, 2000 visiting the diamond exhibition and recording videos.

Extra precautions were then put in place, including replacing the gems with replicas and storing the originals somewhere else, while also installing a false wall in the exhibit, with 20 police situated behind it.

With increased surveillance, police found the other members of the gang, with their visits to the Dome becoming more regular.

Ross suggested the multi-million pound display was always going to be of interest to criminals
Ross suggested the multi-million pound display was always going to be of interest to criminals

On the day of the raid, some members of the gang were identified with a JCB digger and wearing armour and gas masks.

They armed themselves with smoke bombs, sledgehammers and nail guns to try and get through the security glass around the exhibit.

As the plan came into motion, the robbers got very close to nabbing the priceless jewels.

However police swarmed in on the members of the gang and arrested them, with a trial being held on November 8, 2001.

Six members of the gang were present, as one had died of cancer before it came to trial, and they were found guilty and handed prison sentences.

Ross noted: "If someone's prepared to put £350m worth of diamonds and surround it with £1m cash, it might have been a bit of interest to the criminals out there."

Lorraine airs weekdays at 9am on ITV, and The Millennium Dome Heist with Ross Kemp airs tonight (Wednesday) at 9pm on ITV