There’s a new docuseries on ITV which claims to have the closest ever access to the real drama of life inside Britain’s prison system.

Inside Prison: Britain Behind Bars follows the both the officers and inmates on what life is really like to live in one of the country’s most hostile and dangerous environments.

Episode 1 (Thursday, September 27th) showed just how close the cameras go to the action. From officer hazing to inmates’ attempted suicide, everything was shown.

But one of the most interesting aspects of the prison documentary was the relationship between “top dog” inmate Anthony Gooch with the rest of the staff.

Screenshot: Inside Prison S1 E1 – ITV Hub

Who is Anthony Gooch?

Anthony Gooch is a 35-year-old former inmate of HMP Bullingdon in Oxfordshire. He is originally from Market Street, Bracknell.

We meet Anthony on Inside Prison: Britain Behind Bars when he is on remand for 6 months over a crime he says he did not commit. He was staying in the prison’s C-Wing.

But Anthony has had a chequered past with the law and has been arrested before for assault.

  • INTERVIEW: The Big Hospital Experiment’s Erik on his NHS experience – “A love for the job doesn’t buy you a fabulous outfit”

Jailing explained

On September 19th, 2018, there was an incident at a service station car park. This incident allegedly involved a robbery, possession of a firearm (BB gun) and possession of an offensive weapon (a knuckle duster).

Anthony, alongside 33-year-old Mark Sorley and 25-year-old Sam Edwards (who we also meet on Inside Prison) were charged with the offences.

They denied all charges during their trial on February 19th, 2019.


As there was no sufficient evidence presented in court, no further action or sentencing in Crown Court.

  • MEET THE CAST: Who is the narrator? Inside Prison: Britain Behind Bars!

Anthony on Inside Prison

Whether Anthony was meant to be jailed or not, having him on C-Wing was a blessing in disguise for new officer John Aldridge.

The 26-year-old freshman needed the help of Anthony, the “top dog” as he is known in C-Wing, to maintain the peace between the inmates and staff. He described his role as the “violence reduction rep.”

In the episode, we saw Anthony intervene when a paranoid convicted murderer attempting to self-harm and help John Aldridge with the situation.

When Anthony’s charges was dropped in February, he was free to go. And when he left the staff realised what a valuable asset he had been to their team as a power struggle to become the next “top dog” ensued.

There was no update on Anthony at the end of the episode, so we can assume he is still outside of the prison system.




Have something to tell us about this article?