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Classic TV: Minder – S03 E02 – “You Need Hands”


About this episode

Terry is employed to guard a consignment of diamonds, but is injured. Arthur ‘borrows’ Vernon, a minder for a mate of his, to guard the shipment of the diamonds. He finds out that the items being shipped are really drugs and is kidnapped by the dodgy dealer to stop him talking. Then the real owner of the drugs turns up at the meet in a muddy Essex field at dawn, with armed muscle. But Terry and Des have learned of the events and manage to save the day. (The title refers to the song You Need Hands sung by Max Bygraves.)

Guest stars: Mike Reid as Vernon, Alan MacNaughtan as Merrick, Harry Landis as Lenny Bowman, Julian Holloway as Matthews, Leslie Sarony as man in café, Steve Emerson as Merrick’s Heavy, Gareth Milne as Gerry, Martin Fisk as Security Guard Randolf, Michael Jenkinson as Vicar


About the series

Minder is a British comedy-drama about the London criminal underworld. Initially produced by Verity Lambert, it was made by Euston Films, a subsidiary of Thames Television and shown on ITV (originally by Thames, then Central Independent Television in 1993 and 1994 after Thames lost its franchise). The original show ran for ten series between 29 October 1979 and 10 March 1994. The series was notable for using a range of leading British actors, as well as many up-and-coming performers before they hit the big time; at its peak it was one of ITV’s biggest ratings winners

The show starred Dennis Waterman as Terry McCann, an honest and likeable bodyguard (minder in London slang) and George Cole as Arthur Daley, a socially ambitious, but highly unscrupulous importer-exporter, wholesaler, used-car salesman and purveyor of anything else from which there was money to be made, whether within the law or not.

The series is principally set in inner West London (Shepherd’s Bush/Ladbroke Grove/Fulham/Acton), and was largely responsible for putting the word minder, meaning personal bodyguard, into the UK popular lexicon. The characters often drank at the local members-only Winchester Club, where owner and barman Dave (Glynn Edwards) acted, often unwillingly, as a message service for Arthur, and turned a blind eye to his shady deals.

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