TV Cream

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GEORGE COLE aka Arthur Daley (sheepskin coat, cigar, hat, jewellery, ‘er indoors, “nice little earner”, “world is your lobster, my son”) and DENNIS WATERMAN aka Terry McCann (boxer, fighter, mouthing-off-er) fall in and out of trouble every week, encountering dodgy a) gear b) birds c) topless birds d) filth e) motors en route. Went on for ever. TOP OF THE POPS came calling when theme, performed by ‘Dennis Waterman And The Dennis Waterman Band’ went skywards, ditto spoken-word novelty Christmas tune ‘What Are We Gonna Get For ‘Ed Indoors’. Waterman pissed off to be replaced by GARY WEBSTER in 1991. Also kicking around: GEORGE LAYTON, GLYNN EDWARDS, PATRICK MALAHIDE, PETER CHILDS and ANTHONY VALENTINE.



  1. Lee James Turnock

    May 26, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    There was another copyright-busting character in IPC’s School Fun comic in 1984 – ‘Young Arfur’. Pointedly referred to his mum as “Er indoors”.

  2. wilberforce

    August 18, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    When Dennis Waterman left the series, i could never understand why they decided to bring in a new boat (“boat-race – face, madam” as Arfur once memorably enlightened a fellow-juror unversed in the ways of cockney rhyming slang) to take over, when they already had a ready-made replacement on the manor in the form of Ray “I’m the Daddy!” Winstone, who at that point had a recurring role as hapless mechanic Arnie.

    Unlike the grizzled monster of today, back then Ray was actually quite fresh-looking and could be thought of as a catch for the ladies. However, despite having appeared in high profile films such as Scum and Quadrophenia, I think his star was on the wane at that point before his Travolta-like resurgence some years later. Which was a shame, as I think he was much better suited for the role than the geezer they picked – wonder if the show’s producers ever thought (or admitted) in hindsight that they made a bit of a gaffe there?

  3. David Smith

    August 19, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    I seem to recall that the reason the Leeds commercials were able to use Cole – and the reason that he was playing not Arfur Daley but merely an “Arfur Daley-type character” was his wearing of a flat cap rather than a trilby.

    Presumably the same sort of thinking excused the Wispa ads’ employment of sundry BBC sitcom types – I think they wore civvies, didn’t they, rather than holiday camp uniforms/jungle camouflage gear etc… (and it rings a bell that Ruth Madoc addressed “Mr Fairbrother” with his “real name”, Simon)

  4. Neu75

    June 13, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Still goes on today, those Gordon’s adverts is basically Gene Hunt with a gin in his hand…

  5. Glenn Aylett

    January 29, 2022 at 2:41 pm

    The first series is a lot darker than the comedy drama of later years. I’ve been watching repeats on ITV 4 and in one episode an associate of Arthur’s is tortured by a foreign gangster and another has someone trying to kill a racehorse and turns out to be a religious fanatic. Yet you can see the chemistry developing between Cole and Waterman and the potential for a great series, which is why Thames revived Minder in 1980 and it became one of their biggest hits.

  6. Richardpd

    January 29, 2022 at 10:28 pm

    I’ve heard the first series was gritty with many Sweeney like elements. Originally Terry was supposed to be the main character before it was retooled to put him & Arthur on an equal footing.

    Ratings weren’t brilliant at first, probably not helped by ITV still emerging from their strike. Luckily the boss of Thames enjoyed it & managed to get a summer repeat before the second series was shown.

    A few times Dennis Waterman wanted to leave because he was worried about being typecast, but was talked back before he eventually did leave.

  7. Glenn Aylett

    January 30, 2022 at 1:58 pm

    @ Richardpd, it was referred to as Mindless as the show couldn’t work out if it was supposed to be a crime drama or a comedy. Then by series 2, people like DS Chisholm, Dave and the Winchester Club became regular fixtures, some of the violence was toned down, and Arthur was given a regular base at his used car lot instead of moving about. Had Minder continued being the Terry Mc Cann show, I doubt it would have lasted as long or been as popular. That said, a few of the stories from 1979 are excellent like the racehorse one and the one with the Indian shopkeeper.

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