With the end of Gazette the adventures of wealthy estate owner James Hadleigh continue in his own self titled series. In the opening episode, Thanks For The Offer, James is meeting with the Shawcliffe group who have made a bid for the Westdale Gazette, the paper that he inherited from his father. He agrees to sell 75% of his shares in the paper, keeping a quarter share to ensure some degree of continuity.
It’s no great surprise in the great scheme of things that Hadleigh has decided to sell off most of the newspaper. Right from the start of Gazette he was unsure of whether he actually wanted to keep it or not despite getting quite friendly with editor Frank Walters and reporter Sue Jackson.
Hadleigh thinks that Shawcliffe may have ulterior motives for buying the Gazette and it turns out that Shawcliffe himself wants to groom Hadleigh to take over from him one day.
With the take over having happened Sue pays a visit to Hadleigh to tell him that she is thinking of trying her luck on a London magazine. She also offers a few words of wisdom on why his new job would not be the right fit for him. It quickly turns into a romantic moment as Hadleigh kisses Sue. She responds but then quickly makes her excuses and leaves. For Hadleigh it’s a pivotal moment and he realises he might actually be in love with Sue. He invites her to dinner and makes a shock marriage proposal. Sue, who is much younger than Hadleigh and comes from a working class background, tells him she is not ready for marriage yet. Hadleigh is pretty depressed over the refusal but promises to help Sue with her ideas of a job in London. By the end of the episode though Sue has decided to stay in Westdale for the time being and see where her relationship with Hadleigh takes here. She is still very unsure about marriage though!
An excellent opening episode to the all new Hadleigh, enough of the old Gazette vibe to keep fans of that show hooked in and leaving plenty of scope to explore the new direction the series will be going in.
UK / ITV – Yorkshire / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Tuesday 16 September 1969 at 9.00pm
Writer: Alfred Shaughnessy / Production Design: Stanley Morris / Director: Marc Miller
Series: Hadleigh Season 1 Episode 1
Gerald Harper as James Hadleigh
Gillian Wray as Sue Jackson
Alastair Hunter as Maxwell
Bill Fraser as Lord Shawcliffe
Ambrosine Phillpotts as Lady Helen
Wanda Ventham as Diana Reed
Margery Mason as Mrs Jackson
Morris Perry as Charles Barrington
Anthony Douse as Mr Cooper
Anne Kristen as Mrs Cooper
Betty Huntley-Wright as Mrs Clark
Maurice Hedley as Major Clark
Jane Evers as Jane Boyd
Terence Sewards as T.V. Reporter
Ann Syrett as Ward Sister
Peter Ellis as Photographer