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Classic TV: Minder – S07 E06 – “The Wrong Goodbye”


About this episode

Arthur’s bank manager won’t extend his already considerable overdraft and his car lot, lock-up and goods have been seized for non-payment. He contemplates retirement, but he hasn’t paid National Insurance since 1957, so does not qualify for a state pension. Terry tries unsuccessfully to get a bank loan to buy Arthur out, but then an attractive offer comes from entrepreneur Guy Wheeler to buy the entire business. But Guy is conspiring with a corrupt town-planning officer and the bank manager – fellow Freemasons – to get Arthur’s land cheaply so that it can be sold to build a supermarket. Arthur does the deal anyway, contemplating a comfortable retirement. His accountant explains that after capital gains tax and payment of his debts, he’ll be virtually penniless. Arthur and his lawyer try desperately to withdraw from the deal, but this would equally cost them big money and Arthur would still be penniless after paying penalties. Terry’s current girlfriend, a clerk in the council planning office, overhears what’s going on and informs Terry who speaks to DS Jones. Jones is also a Freemason and although he is loath to assist Arthur, he can’t ignore what he’s learned. He has ‘a little chat’ with his fellow masons and as a result, it is Wheeler who withdraws from the agreement. So Arthur not only retains his business but makes some extra money from the deal. (Episode title spoofs the 1973 film The Long Goodbye)

Guest stars: Paul Eddington as Guy Wheeler, Simon Cadell as William Pierce, the bank manager, Michael Lees as Tony Davis, Iain Cuthbertson as McKenna, Mark Farmer as Justin, Cassie Stuart as Veronica, Royce Mills as Andrew, Morris Perry as DHSS Manage



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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