TV Cream

TV: L is for...


The BBC Trust meets to consider their response to the government's Digital Britain report. "Yes, but is there any scope for divvying?"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.



  1. Nick H

    October 11, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Perhaps would have been better if Ian McShane hadn’t toddled off to the States to woo Sue Ellen or whoever, as I think the early 90s revivial never quite matched the quality of that first series. Then it would have been Lovejoy 1986-1990 and a stone cold classic…

  2. johnnyboy

    October 11, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    This was indeed brilliant. I was never sure if I fancied Lady Jane though (or the other woman who appeared later in the second series). However I do remember that episode where an old lady was diddled out of an expensive pot or something and Lovejoy, bless ‘im, manages to get something else of hers and sells it for a small profit, buys something else with that and on it goes until… he manages to buy back the afore-mentioned – I’ll say vase, as pot can mean something else altogether.
    Splendid stuff.

  3. Paul Gatenby

    October 12, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Both Ian McShane and Dudley Sutton are so readily identified with their roles in this series that whenever they pop up in something else, even retrospectively, everyone I know says things like; “You know, The Devils; with Oliver Reed and Tinker off Lovejoy.”

  4. Rob Free

    October 12, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    I remember the rather crap Hothouse Flowers appearing in an episode. Tinker actually danced on stage with them at one point. I urge people to Youtube it. It truly is “TV gold”.

  5. Claire Cracknell

    October 30, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    Lovjoy- Alan Davies. DCI Jane Felsham- Catherine Tate. Tinker Dill- Amanda Redman. Edith ‘Edie’ Cartwright- Isy Suittie. Charlie Gimbert- Phill Jupitus

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

"Brian's Binatone is great for his cassettes!"

To Top