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Classic TV: Minder – S08 E04 – “Three Cons Make a Mountain”

26/02/2019

About this episode

Three men who have been conned by Arthur decide to pool their resources to get back at him. He’s drawn into a card game for big money, and is landed with a Trabant, which is worth very little. Then he bids at an auction, thinking that he’s buying furniture but finds himself buying a greyhound that proves to be a non-runner. Then Ray sells a car, taking a piano in part-exchange, thinking it’s a rare and valuable item, but it proves to be worth only a hundred pounds. Arthur begins to realise who is behind the con and sets out to turn the tables on them. The greyhound proves its worth at a stud farm, and the car is sold back to the man who sold it to Arthur – at ten thousand pounds. And Arthur presents the piano to the Winchester. (The title spoofs the 1954 film – and well-known song – Three Coins in a Fountain)

Guest stars: David Ryall as Ashley Brown, Dermot Crowley as Nick Rutherford, Geoffrey Greenhill as Big Mike, Raymond Brody as Bouncing Morry, Allie Byrne as Lucy, Peter Craze as Middleton, Terence Harvey as Auctioneer, David Jackson as Mr. Fletcher, Jonny Lee Miller as Auctioneer’s Assistant

 

 

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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