It says that in the 1960's, Richardson, a scrap metal dealer, was also the Torture Gang boss. The story cites ways he punished those who crossed him; one technique Charlie used to enforce his will was to nail people to the floor. His rivals were twin gangster brothers Ronnie and Reggie Kray.
After reading the story I figured that Charlie, Ronnie, and Reggie were collectively the inspiration for The Python's sketch about brutal gangster twins, the Piranha Brothers.
I'm guessing they mixed up the characters to avoid legal action AND personal injury . They were probably too scared to even mention "taking a shirt from Charlie".
I love the irony in Charlie/Dinsdale's profession of innocence at the end of the article.
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Here's an excerpt from the actual script of Monty Python's episode 14, The Piranha Brothers (with added photos):
Colour code: John Cleese - Michael Palin - Eric Idle - Graham Chapman - Terry Jones - Terry Gilliam - Carol Cleveland
The episode ends with Luigi Vercotti and his high class escort agency (the Chinese watch ). He describes Doug as more fearsome than Dinsdale.
"What did Doug do?"
" He used ... sarcasm."
Dinsdale's imaginary nemesis Spiny Norman, a giant hedgehog.
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Link to the full TV episode above is here:
Scripts of all Python episodes:
UPDATE Jan2018: More of lovable Spiny