The Likely Lads
The Likely Lads is a British sitcom created and written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, produced by Dick Clement. Twenty episodes were broadcast by the BBC, in three series, between 16 December 1964 and 23 July 1966. However, only ten of these episodes have survived; the sitcom was set in Newcastle upon North East England. This show was followed by a popular sequel series, in colour, entitled Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?, broadcast between 9 January 1973 and 24 December 1974. This was followed in 1976 by a spin-off feature film The Likely Lads; some episodes of both the original black and white series and the colour sequel were adapted for radio, with the original television cast. The original show followed the friendship of two young working class men, Terry Collier and Bob Ferris, in Newcastle upon Tyne in the mid 1960s. Bob and Terry are assumed to be in their early 20s. After growing up at school and in the Scouts together and Terry are working in the same factory, Ellison's Electrical, alongside the older, wiser duo of Cloughie and Jack.
The show's gritty yet verbose humour derived from the tensions between Terry's cynical, working class personality and Bob's ambition to better himself and move to the middle class. Bob and Terry were two average working class lads growing up in the industrial North East, whose hobbies were beer and girls, they were canny, to say street-wise, yet they stumbled into one scrape after another as they struggled to enjoy the Swinging Sixties on their meagre incomes. At the end of the third and final series in 1966, a depressed and bored Bob attempted to join the Army but was rejected because of his flat feet. Terry, who decided at the last minute to enlist to keep Bob company, was accepted A1 and shipped away for three years, it was revealed that Terry and Bob's full names were Terence Daniel Collier and Robert Andrew Scarborough Ferris. According to the feature film, made in 1976, both Lads were conceived during the same wartime air raid and were thus born in the same year, 1944. Although in the colour sequel much was made of Thelma, said to have been Bob's childhood sweetheart, she appeared only once in the original show, in which Bob had no steady girlfriend and was forever "chasing skirt", though she was mentioned in some episodes in series three, including "Rocker" and "Goodbye to All That".
The word "likely" in the show's title is somewhat ambiguous. In some dialects in Northern England it means "likeable" but it may be derived from the phrase the man most to, a boxing expression in common use on Tyneside, hence, in Geordie slang, "a lad". Another possible meaning is the ambiguous Northern usage of "likely" to mean a small-time troublemaker. James Bolam as Terry Collier Rodney Bewes as Bob Ferris Brigit Forsyth as Thelma Chambers Sheila Fearn as Audrey Collier, Terry's older sister Bartlett Mullins as Mr "Cloughie" Clough, a workmate Don McKillop as Jack, another workmate Olive Milbourne as Mrs Edith Collier and Audrey's mother Alex McDonald as Mr Cyril Collier and Audrey's dad Richard Moore as BlakeyGuest stars included George Layton, Garfield Morgan, Wendy Richard, Susan Jameson, Michael Sheard, Nerys Hughes, Geoffrey Hughes, Helen Fraser, Tony Caunter and Irene Richmond as Mrs Alice Ferris in three episodes. Only ten episodes survive as a result of its wiping policy of the time.
However, the BBC Archive Treasure Hunt, a public campaign, continues to search for missing episodes. Additionally, an eight-minute episode of The Likely Lads was broadcast on 25 December 1964, as part of a 90-minute Christmas Day special on BBC 1 called Christmas Night with the Stars 7.15pm to 8.45pm, in which Bob and Terry have an argument over Bob's encyclopaedic knowledge of'Rupert the Bear' Annuals. This recording still exists in the BBC's videotape archive. An edited version, which included'The Likely Lads' sketch, was screened on BBC2 over Christmas 1991. Sixteen of the television scripts were adapted for radio by James Bolam, broadcast in two series during 1967 and 1968. Produced by John Browell, the radio adaptations were recorded at the Paris Studios in Lower Regent Street, London using the original television cast. In a recent DVD release, only seven of the eight extant episodes were included, in spite of the cover stating that it contained all the surviving episodes; the eighth episode was included on the Likely Lads and Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?
Combined box set, as an'extra' rather than in chronological order. List of films based on British sitcoms The Liver Birds, a comparable comedy about two women living in Liverpool. A Likely Story: The Autobiography of Rodney Bewes, published by Century, 1 September 2005 BBC Comedy Guide, The Likely Lads BBC Comedy Guide, Whatever Happened to The Likely Lads The Likely Lads on Tyne The Likely Lads IMDB entry Whatever Happened to The Likely Lads IMDB entry The Likely Lads at BBC Programmes The Likely Lads Radio Series, 1967-68 The Likely Lads on IMDb Wickham, Phil; the Likely Lads. BFI TV Classics. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan/BFI Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84457-213-7. Webber, Richard. Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?. London: Orion. ISBN 978-0-7528-1815-3
Our Friends in the North
Our Friends in the North is a British television drama serial produced by the BBC. It was broadcast in nine episodes on BBC Two in early 1996. Written by Peter Flannery, it tells the story of four friends from the city of Newcastle upon Tyne in North East England over a period of 31 years, from 1964 to 1995; the story makes reference to certain political and social events which occurred during the era portrayed, some specific to Newcastle and others which affected Britain as a whole. These include general elections and local government corruption, the UK miners' strike and the Great Storm of 1987; the serial is regarded as one of the most successful BBC television dramas of the 1990s, described by The Daily Telegraph as "a production where all... worked to serve a writer's vision. We are not to look upon its like again", it has been named by the British Film Institute as one of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes of the 20th century, by The Guardian newspaper as the third greatest television drama of all time and by the Radio Times magazine as one of the 40 greatest television programmes.
It was awarded three British Academy Television Awards, two Royal Television Society Awards, four Broadcasting Press Guild Awards and a Certificate of Merit from the San Francisco International Film Festival. Our Friends in the North helped to establish the careers of its four lead actors, Daniel Craig, Christopher Eccleston, Gina McKee and Mark Strong. Daniel Craig's part in particular has been referred to as his breakthrough role, it was a controversial production, as its stories were based on real people and events. Several years passed before it was adapted from a play, performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company, to a television drama, due in part to the BBC's fear of legal action; each of the nine episodes of the serial takes place in the year. The episodes follow the four main characters and their changing lives and relationships against the backdrop of the political and social events in Britain; the four friends are Dominic'Nicky' Hutchinson, Mary Soulsby, George'Geordie' Peacock and Terry'Tosker' Cox.
The series begins with 1964. Nicky returns from working with the civil rights movement in the southern United States to resume his studies at the University of Manchester, he is reunited with his girlfriend and best friend, hoping to form a pop group with his mate Tosker. Nicky is persuaded to drop out of university and work for corrupt local politician Austin Donohue, swayed by Donohue's apparent idealism and desire to change Newcastle for the better; this is much to the annoyance of Nicky's trade unionist father Felix, who does not want his son to waste opportunities that he never had. Nicky's relationship with Mary ends when she becomes pregnant by Tosker and marries him, which means she drops out of university. On the run from a pregnant girlfriend himself and his abusive alcoholic father, Geordie leaves for London, where he falls in with seedy underworld baron Benny Barrett. Geordie is successful while employed by Barrett in his Soho nightclubs and sex shops, he helps Tosker and Mary by introducing Tosker to Barrett, who lends him the money to start his own fruit and vegetable business.
Tosker's former dreams of musical stardom fade away. Meanwhile, Nicky realises the extent of Donohue's corrupt dealings with building contractor John Edwards, he resigns in disgust becoming involved with anarchists in London. By the early 1970s, the police have cracked down on Barrett's business and their own corruption but not before Barrett has set Geordie up, sending him to prison in retaliation for an affair that Geordie had with Barrett's lover. Nicky's anarchist cell is raided, he returns to Newcastle. Geordie returns as well. By 1979, Nicky has returned to more mainstream politics and stands for the Labour Party in the general election, but is defeated by the Conservative Party candidate after a smear campaign. Geordie leaves shortly before the election, not to be seen in the series again until 1987. By 1984, Nicky is working as a photographer and Mary has divorced Tosker, who has remarried and is becoming a rich businessman. Nicky and Mary renew their relationship during the turbulent events of the miners' strike and marry.
By 1987, their marriage is falling apart. He meets Geordie, now a homeless, drunken vagrant, by chance in London but his old friend disappears before he has a chance to help him. Geordie is sentenced to life in prison as a danger to the public, after setting fire to a mattress in a hostel. Despite her failing marriage to Nicky, Mary's life is becoming an increasing success and she is now a councillor. Tosker, loses his fortune in the stock market crash; the final episode, 1995, sees Nicky, who has emigrated to Italy, returning to Newcastle to oversee the funeral of his mother. Tosker has managed to rebuild his business and is about to hold the opening night of his new floating nightclub, based on a boat moored on the River Tyne. Mary, now a Labour Member of Parliament sympathetic to New Labour, is invited to the opening and Tosker is surprised to find Geordie back in the city as well. Neither Mary nor Geordie make it to the opening night party but the four friends are reunited the following day at Nicky's house after his mother's funeral.
Wire in the Blood
Wire in the Blood is a British crime drama television series and produced by Coastal Productions for Tyne Tees Television and broadcast on ITV from 14 November 2002 to 31 October 2008. The series is based on characters created by Val McDermid, including a university clinical psychologist, Dr Anthony "Tony" Valentine Hill, able to tap into his own dark side to get inside the heads of serial killers. Working with detectives, Hill takes on tough and impenetrable cases in an attempt to track down the killers before they strike again. ITV cancelled the series in 2009, citing high production costs and the large number of new series being broadcast on the network; the series is set in the fictional town of Bradfield, assumed to lie within West Yorkshire. It follows the Major Incident Team of Bradfield Metropolitan Police's CID and the assistance provided to the detectives by clinical psychologist and serial offender profiler Dr. Tony Hill. All of the main episodes revolve around a serial killer whom Hill helps to track down by means of a profile, based on the killer's actions.
From Series 1 to 3, the MIT is headed by Detective Inspector Carol Jordan. The two develop a close relationship, further explored in McDermid's novels, in which Jordan is always head of the MIT. In the first episode of Series 4, Jordan is replaced—without real explanation—by Detective Inspector Alex Fielding, who develops an close relationship. A constant theme is Carol's, Alex's, struggle with their senior officers, who are less trusting of Tony's eccentric methods and far-fetched theories than Carol and Alex. There is a romantic storyline showing a growing development in Tony's relationships with both Carol and Alex. Whilst starting as friendships, both detectives begin to develop romantic feelings for Tony, although these feelings never develop into a relationship. Robson Green as Dr. Anthony "Tony" Hill Hermione Norris as DCI Carol Jordan Simone Lahbib as DI Alex Fielding Mark Letheren as DS Kevin Geoffries Emma Handy as DC Paula McIntyre Tom Chadbon as ACC John Brandon Peter Sullivan as ACC Paul Eden Alan Stocks as DS Don Merrick Doreene Blackstock as DS Annie Reiss Mark Penfold as Dr. Ashley Vernon Michael Smiley as Dr. Liam Kerwin Jethro Skinner as Tim Eccles Dr. Tony Hill is a clinical psychologist whose expertise with damaged minds has proved invaluable to the police.
Intelligent and endearing, if somewhat eccentric, he is driven by a tangible sense of right and wrong and his understanding of human behaviour enables him to empathize with both victim and killer. Tony formed a close bond between them putting many serial killers behind bars; as such, he was devastated to learn. Despite his bizarre behavior, Tony's ability to get results when evidence is scarce has won him the support of Jordan's successor, Alex Fielding, who trusts him as part of her team, but Tony's involvement with the police affects him as he finds it difficult to distance himself from disturbing cases. The plastic "blue bag" that Tony is seen with was gleaned from Robson Green's research for Wire in the Blood, which involved spending time with revered criminal psychologist Julian Boon. Green described Boon in part as an "extraordinary, nice guy who carried his life in a blue bag and traveled on a double-decker bus. No one looked at him twice." D. C. I. Carol Jordan is a hardworking officer, who forms a close relationship with Tony working with him to secure the arrest of several killers.
In series two's Right to Silence, Carol is promoted from Detective Inspector to Detective Chief Inspector. Although the two soon grow close, they never achieve the romantic relationship that Carol desires with Tony and in the end, Carol leaves Bradfield to take a position in South Africa. Speaking of Hermione Norris' portrayal of Carol Jordan, Val McDermid said that she "brings real intelligence and insight to her role, demonstrating that there's a lot more to her skills than we got to see in Cold Feet." D. I. Alex Fielding is a senior detective and a dedicated professional, always willing to put in the hours to get the case solved, her warmth and down-to-earth style have gained her the respect of Tony. She has learned to trust that Tony's intuition can sometimes mean the key to cracking a case when physical evidence is hard to come by, but the pressure of working on murder investigations sometimes causes a strain at home where she is a single mum to young Ben. When the stresses of life take their toll, she finds it difficult to ask for help.
D. S. Kevin Geoffries has proved himself a worthy member of the team, despite a few indiscretions and lapses in judgement. After a rocky start he comes to respect Tony, believing he can offer an extra dimension to the investigations. Kevin works with Paula McIntyre, their professional bond has made them good friends. D. C. Paula McIntyre is feisty young detective. Paula doesn't get fazed easily, she is keen to take on more responsibility and pleased to have strong role-models in Carol and Alex. Paula has a deep respect for Tony, after he saved her life during an investigation. She'll do. A. C. C. John Brandon is an excellent and experienced senior officer, but one, shown to b
Byker Grove is an English television series which aired between 1989 and 2006 and was created by writer Adele Rose and producer Andrea Wonfor. The show was broadcast at 5:10pm after Newsround on CBBC on BBC One, it was aimed at an older teenager and young adult audience, tackling serious and sometimes controversial storylines. The show ran between 1989 and 2006, was set in a youth club in the Byker district of Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. In 1987, Wonfor approached soap writer Adele Rose. Together they created a single pilot episode featuring children aged 8–11 at an out-of-school club. In autumn 1988, Wonfor gained the backing of Anna Home Head of the Children's Department at BBC Television. Home gave the go ahead for a run of a series of six 25-minute episodes to be broadcast by the BBC; the age of the main characters was raised to 12–16 after support from first producer-director, Matthew Robinson. The first series centred on young teenagers crossing the bridge from childhood to adulthood. Byker Grove launched the careers of Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly who are otherwise known as Ant & Dec as well as the actress Jill Halfpenny, Donna Air, former CBBC presenter Andrew Hayden-Smith and Emmerdale actors Dale Meeks, Charlie Hardwick, Chelsea Halfpenny, Laura Norton and Victoria Hawkins.
Appearing in the series was the now glamour model Francoise Boufhal and Charlie Hunnam, who starred in the American TV series Sons of Anarchy and co-starred in Pacific Rim. Founder producer/director was Matthew Robinson who, after Byker Grove, became executive producer of EastEnders, Head of Drama BBC Wales and now runs Khmer Mekong Films in Cambodia. Byker Grove was home to writers such as Catherine Johnson and Matthew Graham; the first writer was Adele Rose - in Series 1 she wrote episodes 1–4 and 6. The most prolific was Brian B. Thompson, who wrote 50 episodes over 12 series. Byker Grove gave Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper his first break into TV drama when he directed four episodes in 1997. Byker Grove was not filmed in the Byker area of Newcastle; the actual youth club set was in Benwell, in the west area of the City, Byker being in the east. Byker Metro station and other landmarks in the real Byker are used for filming backdrops; the youth club building seen on-screen is The Mitre, which used to be a pub.
After the success of the first series, The Mitre was bought by the BBC's London property department which granted Zenith Television a permanent licence to film the series there. The building housed production offices, make up suite and costume department; the final series started on 7 October 2006 on the CBBC Channel. Richard Deverell, head of CBBC, was interviewed on Newsround about the decision to axe Byker Grove. On 11 March 2008, it was reported that Gallowgate Productions TV, the TV production company owned by Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, purchased the rights to Byker Grove after the production company that made it went into liquidation in 2007. According to reports, the reason Ant & Dec decided to purchase the rights was to stop a digital channel showing repeats featuring the duo during their time in the series, though this has neither been confirmed or denied by the duo themselves; the cast and crew from the first 10 years of the show held their first reunion on 19 May 2012 in the Quayside area of Newcastle upon Tyne and on a river boat cruise.
The party guests included Donna Air, Charlie Hardwick and Andrew Hayden-Smith. Jill Halfpenny and Si King were absent due to work commitments. Byker Grove was not intended for young children, but aimed at a young adult and teenage audience as it tackled some controversial subjects such as drug addiction, child abuse, teen pregnancy and abortion. Although some of the action took place outside the youth club, the series was unusual among dramas in that the characters were shown in school. One of the major settings was the foster home run by the kindly but strict Lou Gallagher, the longest-running character. In November 1994, Byker Grove became the first British drama to broach the subject of "coming out of the closet" when Noddy Fishwick kissed his close friend Gary Hendrix at the back of a cinema; this scene caused outrage in the British tabloids, a Sun editorial calling for producer Matthew Robinson to be sacked. However the BBC backed the storyline which received countrywide support from gay teenagers, many teachers, parents.
The 2004 series saw the character of Bradley agonising over his sexuality and coming out of the closet as gay to his girlfriend Sadie, after a romantic holiday together had failed to live up to their expectations. The series depicted life as unjust, with bad things happening to good people, such as Flora's death from a brain tumour, Greg's fall from the roof of the Grove which left him paralysed from the waist down, Jemma Dobson being electrocuted by a faulty electricity mains socket and youth leader Geoff Keegan's death in an accidental gas explosion. Byker Grove confronted viewers with repercussions for the characters' actions permanent; these ranged from the comical to the tragic. P. J. was blinded during an illicit and unsupervised paintballi
Super Gran is a 1980s children's television programme, about a grandmother with super powers. The show was adapted by Jenny McDade from books written by Forrest Wilson and was produced by Tyne Tees Television for Children's ITV; the title character was played by Gudrun Ure, with Iain Cuthbertson as her nemesis, The Scunner Campbell. Two series, each consisting of 13 episodes, were produced, alongside a Christmas special. All episodes have been released by Network DVD; the show inspired two computer games. An elderly grandmother, Granny Smith, acquires superpowers when she is accidentally hit by a magic ray created by Inventor Black. Under the guise of'Super Gran', she protects the residents of the fictional town of Chiselton from villains such as Roderick Scunner Campbell and his gang, The Muscles and Tub. Super Gran was accompanied by her grandson and Inventor Black's assistant Edison. Episodes were narrated by Bill McAllister. SuperGran was created by author Forrest Wilson, he says that the character was a combination of three characters: Pansy Potter from The Beano, his own mother-in-law, an unnamed Scottish actress who looked and sounded like he imagined the character should.
The first book was published followed by several others, many illustrated by David McKee. Following the television series' success, Wilson adapted McDade's scripts as: Television Adventures of Super Gran,More Television Adventures of Super Gran, Super Gran to the Rescue. Wilson, with Graham Kennedy released Super Gran: The Picture Book. Gudrun Ure read Super Gran: Complete & Unabridged for an audiobook release in 1991. Tyne Tees published an annual in 1985. There were some significant differences between the TV series; the most notable was the character of Inventor Black. Although he was an ally of Supergran in the TV series he was the primary antagonist in Wilson's original prose; the show was filmed in various locations around North East England, including Tynemouth, Whitley Bay, South Shields and Beamish Museum. Inventor Black’s laboratory was housed in an empty church on Tynemouth Front Street, which became Land of the Green Ginger. Sets were housed in an old warehouse in North Shields. A stone cottage in Church Way, near Whitley Bay, was used as Super Gran's home.
A huge crane used to hoist Super Gran into her flying position was parked in the neighbouring school. Gudrun Ure, 59 when she first appeared in the show, had only one stunt double and did a lot of stunts herself. Tyne Tees executive Andrea Wonfor said that they'used to do all the special effects with trampolines and things.' Filming the Christmas special and the second series took about nine months of 10-hour days, beginning in April 1986. Sue Sweeney, who appeared in many episodes, recalls that she "did everything from sunbathing on the beach at Cullercoats in the rain to a Gorilla at the fancy dress party."The young actors were all local children from the Newcastle area, the Scunner's two toughies were local stand-up comics who performed in clubs at night. Many guest stars appeared on the programme, including George Best, Spike Milligan, Roy Kinnear and Geoff Capes, it was Patrick Charles Hawtrey's final screen appearances. Following production, memorabilia from the show was displayed at The Land of Green Ginger shopping centre in Tynemouth.
After owner Gordon Reed put the props up for sale after deciding to revamp the mall, local electrician Mark Simms bought Super Gran's flying bike and magic ray machine for £403. The theme song was performed by Billy Connolly; the full version was released as a single in March 1985 and reached number 32 in the UK singles chart. The transmission of the first episode in 1985 was preceded by a "making-of" documentary. Super Gran won an Emmy, sold to over 60 countries worldwide. According to director Tony Kysh, "Tyne Tees was one of the first Western companies to sell to China TV where Super Gran was a big success." The show became. The character of Super Gran came seventh in The Glasgow Herald's 2003 poll, "The Most Scottish Person In The World"; the University of Nottingham cited Super Gran as an example of perceptions of grandmothers'being reshaped by socio-cultural messages as well as personal experience.'Two videos were released, each containing three episodes. The first series was released by Network DVD on a 2 disc set on 10 August 2009, the second series on 16 May 2011.
The Whitley Bay Playhouse is scheduled to host a Super Gran evening in February 2012, featuring classic episodes, a making-of documentary and props. The series is low production standards; this was due to the low budget and quick turnaround time needed to finish an episode. The most used'special effect' was Supergran's ability to jump high and was achieved using a trampoline and trick camera angles. Another well-used effect was'Supergran walking/running quickly' which involved a stunt double walking away from the camera with a'trailing' visual effect emanating from the retreating figure, making it appear that she was walking/running so fast that her afterimage was momentarily being left behind. To further accentuate the effect, other characters would be required to'run' after her, complaining that she was walking/running too quickly; the most celebrated effect, featured i
Finney (TV series)
Finney is a six-part British television crime drama series and created by David Kane and directed by David Hayman, that first broadcast on ITV on 17 November 1994. A television spin-off from the 1988 film Stormy Monday, Finney stars David Morrissey in the title role, taking over from Sting; the series was produced by Zenith Entertainment in association with Tyne Tees Television. The series was produced by Nigel Stafford-Clark, who acted as producer on Stormy Monday. Finney co-starred Christopher Fairbank, Lynn Farleigh, Melanie Hill, Pooky Quesnel, Clive Russell, Andy Serkis and John Woodvine in supporting roles, follows the struggle for power between two rival crime families - the Finneys and the Simpsons; the series received critical acclaim, including The Times. The acting is terrific." And the Daily Star, who called the series "addictive viewing" and commented that it was "nail-bitingly good." The complete series was released on Region 1 DVD in the United States on 28 August 2007. Allison Pearson of The Independent reviewed the first episode of the series, writing, "Finney... is an everyday story of disorganised crime in which the Corleone family has quit Long Island for Whitley Bay, changed its name to Tucker and been issued with Geordie accents that deliver lines of untold menace...
With its designer violence, Finney is. Its main problem is perennial and insoluble: British villains are just not up to speed." David Morrissey as Stephen Finney Christopher Fairbank as Bobo Simpson Jr. Lynn Farleigh as Mary Melanie Hill as Lena Finney Pooky Quesnel as Carol Finney Clive Russell as Tucker Finney Andy Serkis as Tom Finney John Woodvine as Bobo Simpson Snr. Michael Yeaman as Jimmy Spears David Hayman as McDade Brian Lewis as PawPaw Angela Lonsdale as Suzie Finney Mark Benton as Billy Jonathan Magnanti as Iain John McArdle as Louis Souter Finney on IMDb Finney at TV.com
Spender is a British television police procedural drama, created by Ian La Frenais and Jimmy Nail, that first broadcast on 8 January 1991 on BBC1. The series, which starred Nail as the title character, ran for three series between 1991 and 1993, finishing with a feature-length special, The French Collection, broadcast on 29 December 1993. A total of twenty-one episodes were produced; the first and second series were produced by Martin McKeand, while the third and final series was produced by Paul Raphael and Peter McAleese. The series, set in Newcastle upon Tyne, focuses on the life and exploits of Detective Sergeant Freddie Spender, chosen to carry out more daring police cases. With his criminal sidekick Stick, Spender was regarded as one of the more remarkable TV detectives of the 1990s; the series featured an extensive back story for the main characters, with a number of episodes dealing with Spender's domestic life, his family and circumstances. Some of the storylines were however seen as somewhat dark.
The series was notable for being actress Denise Welch's national television debut. Mickey Hutton, who played recurring character'Spud' Tate in the series, was in a band with Nail. Guest stars in the series included Amanda Redman, Rodney Bewes, Frances Tomelty, Julie Peasgood, Jan Graveson, Geoffrey Hughes, Bobby Pattinson, Tom Bell and Ian McElhinney; the series was broadcast on Tuesday evenings in the peak time slot that followed the BBC's flagship Nine O'Clock News. No further series were produced following the feature-length special, despite the popularity of the show, it being a smash hit for the BBC in terms of ratings. In 1992, a novelisation of the series, written by Nail, was published; the series has never been released on DVD. Jimmy Nail mentioned the idea of a cop show to writer Ian La Frenais, with whom he'd worked on Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, in 1987; the BBC subsequently commissioned a pilot script, written by the latter, enthusiastically received. A producer suggested that Nail should try writing a script, positively received by the BBC.
Subsequently, a series of eight episodes was commissioned by the network. Not confident he could repeat the formula for remaining episodes in the series on his own, Nail moved to Los Angeles in 1989 to be closer to La Frenais as he worked on material for the series; the first series was reported to have cost the BBC £2.5m to produce. The second and third series were produced by Initial. Producer Paul Raphael, director of photography Ernest Day and a first assistant director left during the making of the third series. A press article at the time said that three members of the production team had left, citing'creative and artistic differences'. Nail was said to have been demanding as both executive producer of the series. Ford provided a new Ford Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth for each series; the first vehicle was stolen from the set, before being found burnt out. A security guard for the car was hired during the production of the third series. Stick drove a Volkswagen Beetle. A number of Ford, Vauxhall, BMW and Range Rover cars were featured in the series.
Jimmy Nail as DS Freddie Spender Sammy Johnson as Kenneth Norman'Stick' Oakley Berwick Kaler as DS Dan Boyd Denise Welch as Frances Spender Tony McAnaney as Keith Moreland Lynn Harrisson as Kate Spender Dawn Winlow as Laura Spender Paul Greenwood as Supt. Yelland Peter Guinness as DCS Gillespie Brendan Healy as Eric Mickey Hutton as'Spud' Tate Spender on IMDb Spender at TV.com Spender at epguides.com