TV Cream

TV: H is for...


MEAN-STREETS SAAAAHF LANDAN PI Mr James Hazell (NICHOLAS “THE HOUSE THAT BLED TO DEATH” BALL) was the creation of one P. B. Yuill, penman of a number of crimaramas, but who in turn was none other than a collaboration between Scots writer GORDON “STRAW DOGS” WILLIAMS and Professional Cockernee TERRY “CRYSTAL PALACE” VENABLES. Not entirely tongue outside of cheek capers always involved bristling bust-ups between maverick wideboy Hazell and former CID boss, grumpy Jock “Choc” Minty (RODDY MCMILLAN), who was always trying to get mi-laddo’s licence yanked. DESMOND MCNAMARA played cousin Tel, and former Stone The Crows songstress, MAGGIE BELL, crooned the melancholy theme.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. wilberforce

    August 24, 2010 at 1:06 am

    I remember at school one day a classmate was raving about last night’s episode of Hazell where he stuck a fork into the back of a geezer’s hand during a particularly violent fight (I never watched it – i must have been out playing football or something)

    After hearing about that I started watching the series, but later episodes were far less violent which was rather disappointing (TV watchdogs were at the time cracking-down on scenes involving fisticuffs). The most memorable thing I recalled was when Hazell had to masquerade as a depping drummer for a band having never played before (“It took me longer to set them up than play them!” he quipped in the Bogey-style voiceover)…

    Anyway, when I finally got to watch the first series on DVD recently, it turned out that the implement ‘azell rammed into an unsuspecting henchman’s mitt was in fact a corkscrew (that started a corker of a punch-up also featuring perennial-heavy Alan Lake taking a bottle of wine over the head!)

    The bad news for fans of Cockney crime dramas is that apart from some realistic scuffles in the first few episodes (including a particularly heavy one with the ultra-hard cockney villain Derrick O’Connor), the series tailed off into not particularly good or convincing melodrama, with only Choc Minty providing any moments of real quality. You’re better off sticking to The Sweeney and/or early Minder in my opinion…

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