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Classic TV: Minder – S08 E12 – “The Coach that came in from the Cold”


About this episode

DS Morley is ordered to sell a police bus to Arthur so that their accounts will balance. The latter starts using it for tourist purposes; taking punters through ‘The London The Tourist Never Sees’. The bus breaks down and the whole tour ends up at the Winchester. They become spectators at a fight between Denny Willis and Ray, which pleases them greatly and they are satisfied to have had their money’s worth. In the meantime, Arthur’s trying to join an exclusive golf club. Ray assists the club’s catering manageress to expose the current captain’s underhand scheme to sell the club’s land for executive apartments. Arthur is also being hounded by Denny Willis, to whom he owes a rather large sum of money. (The title spoofs the 1965 film The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.)

Guest stars:  Trevor Peacock as ‘Previous’, Geoffrey Whitehead as Superintendent Roden, Lisa Jacobs as Lorraine, Patrick Godfrey as Major Beatty, Rory Edwards as Denny Willis, Clive Kneller as Rambo.



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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