Two days before his 28th birthday Nick Leeson went missing from Singapore and on his desk left a hurriedly scribbled note which simply read “I’m Sorry”. Guessing he would be jailed for fraud, and in the hope of being locked up in the UK rather than the Far East, Nick went on the run via Borneo, in the hope of getting back to Europe and the relative safety of UK authorities.
By this time his face had made newspaper headlines around the world. Landing at Frankfurt, Germany, in an already movie-like plot, Nick’s airplane was met on the runway by police and he was arrested. He then spent the following nine months on remand trying vehemently to escape extradition back to Singapore. It was during this time in Frankfurt that Leeson penned a personal account of his story, published in his best selling book, Rogue Trader.
Whilst serving time behind bars in Frankfurt, renowned British broadcaster and TV presenter, Sir David Frost, flew to Germany and interviewed Nick for an exclusive BBC interview. Sir David realised the huge potential for Nick’s story and during their meeting, asked if he could option the movie rights for Rogue Trader. Not thinking in a million years that it would amount to anything, Leeson agreed. Soon after, he lost his appeal and on 20th November 1995 Nick Leeson was extradited to Singapore.
Rogue Trader, the book, was published in 1996. Three years later, in June 1999, one month before Nick’s early release from prison, Rogue Trader the movie premiered in London to a host of celebrities. Executive Produced by Sir David, the movie was written and directed by James Dearden, starred Ewan McGregor (Trainspotting, Star Wars) as Nick Leeson and Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies, Limitless) as his wife, Lisa Leeson.