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Classic TV: Minder – S08 E01 – “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Entrepreneur”


About this episode

Terry marries and leaves for Australia without telling anyone, leaving Arthur unprotected and vulnerable to opportunists. One gang even tries to offer ‘protection’ to the Winchester club. Arthur is asked to give his nephew Ray a job and after he proves himself as tough as Terry was, he becomes Arthur’s new minder and assistant. Ray finds his French language skills of use when he is sent to Brussels to pick up a car, which DS Morley has ordered. Ray suspects that the car is being used for nefarious purposes and saves Arthur from being arrested for drug trafficking. (The title spoofs the 1962 film The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner.)

Guest stars: Roberta Taylor as Pat Norris, Raymond Brody as Bouncing Morry, Lill Roughley as Doreen Daley, Allie Byrne as Lucy, Tim Barker as Wilf



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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