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Classic TV: Minder – S04 E09 – “Willesden Suite”


About this episode

Terry becomes temporary house detective at a hotel where Arthur is supplying Norma Bates, the manageress, with toilet rolls and butter and jam portions. He’s persuaded to address a Rotary Club luncheon, but when his carefully crafted script goes missing, the result is a drunken disaster. The lunch is violently interrupted by a jewel thief who was in league with the manageress. Meanwhile, Terry has to cope with two thieves posing as priests, and a would-be model being fleeced by a lecherous photographer. (Episode title spoofs the 1978 film California Suite)

Guest stars:Toby Robins as Norma Bates, Susan Kyd as Sue, William Simons as Pongo, Bernard Kay as Charles Riding, Valentine Palmer as Barry Pollard, Reece Dinsdale as Steve, Brian Hawksley as Mr. Robinson


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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