AH, THE gentle swish of a watercolour paintbrush, the chiming tinkle of an endlessly hummable signature tune…the smell of an ace, if preposterous, classic. LOVEJOY was the business, despite its titular hero being a blackguard, a cheat, a rogue and a sporter of the Phil Collins Jacket And Jeans. IAN MCSHANE was your avuncular antiques dealer, running juvenile amok in East Anglia with PHYLLIS LOGAN (posh love interest Lady Jane), DUDLEY SUTTON (dandied loon Tinker) and CHRIS JURY (hapless klutz on motorbike Eric). Each week the gang fell foul of ludicrous plot devices, ancient earthenware, foreign crime syndicates, a man from the council, MALCOLM TIERNEY (Charlie Gimbert) and inclement weather. First series ended with our man being sent to prison, only to emerge five years later with a bouffon and a propensity for wearing Motorhead T-shirts, driving a car called Miriam and helping out old ladies in peril from marginally less ethical dealers. Show then gained a huge following and, weirdly, a huge currency amongst the luvvie community, with the likes of JOHN GIELGUD and JOANNA LUMLEY showing up for a bit. Inevitably ran out of steam towards the end, with McShane apparently calling the shots and the likes of Logan and Dury pissing off as a result. Still, at its peak it was nonsensical wonderment, especially the bits where Lovejoy talked straight to camera a la Francis Urquhart and Garry Shandling.Read More
TVC on Twitter
Creamguide's Pick of the Day
A lot’s been said about Hugh Carleton Greene’s reign as Director General and he certainly did plenty of great things, though in many ways he only had himself to blame in his battles with Mary Whitehouse because he did sometimes seem to go out of his way to wind her up, and he wasn’t entirely the great liberal as he refused to let That Was The Week That Was go out in the same year as the General Election. Certainly more good than bad, though, and in the next episode of this repeated series he’s the focus alongside his commissions like The Wednesday Play.
Subscribe to Creamguide
Points of View
- In 'If It’s Wednesday, It Must Be…', Bob Meyrick says: "I remember this programme, though I don’t recall it being for kids! One Credibility Gap sketch has stuck with..."
- In '37) “You should stay at home!” ', Morgan says: "Given that the whole of Southern England was, like TV Centre, in darkness, it’s hard to imagine who was able to..."
- In 'Origami', David Bally says: "Actually the presenter of origami was british magician and author Robert Harbin. Richard Hittleman (correct spelling) was the American presenter of Yoga..."
- In 'Soldiers Talking, Cleanly', Wul says: "I saw this. I was a squadie at the time. It was spot on about the military politics of the period, and quite funny; especially the last couple..."
- In 'Opportunity Knocks', Philip mcGovern says: "Peter, I have no real idea how these things work but I stumbled across “st Kevin’s Choir” and came across your notes...."