Crocodile Shoes was the music themed drama series that turned Jimmy Nail into something of a country sensation. Nail plays Jed Shepperd, a heading into middle age Newcastle factory worker who writes contry tinged songs in his bedroom.
His sister Emma (who lives with Jed) sends off a tape of his songs (without Jed knowing) to various record companies in London. Ade Lynn is an A&R man for Tomboy Records, knowing that his job is on the line anyway he decides to try and become Jed’s manager and sign him up to a different record company.
Ade is a none too scrupulous character and has more than a small drug and drink problem as well as a couple of none too nice drug dealers on his back. He quickly whisks Jed off to Nashville though and begins grooming him for the big time. Top country star Carmel Cantrell is quickly enamored both by Jed and his songs.
Two years later the series returned for a second batch of six episodes, this time minus Ade (whose luck had finally run out). Worse than that though is that Jed is suspected of being the prime suspect in his murder. Things go from bad to worse when his record company want back the half a million advance for his as yet unrecorded second album and he is also framed in a drugs bust.
The first season was hugely popular for Nail and spawned several successful singles (all of the music in the series is excellent btw). The first seven episodes are your classic rags to riches success story whilst the second goes more down a thriller route as Jed tries to clear his name and the machinations that Ade began in the first season start to fall apart.
Nail had already had a UK number one with the song Ain’t No Doubt and the second season of Auf Wiedersehen Pet had given him the chance to indulge his love of country music.
UK / BBC-1 – Big Boy – Red Rooster / 13 x 50 minute episodes / Broadcast 10 November 1994 – 19 December 1996
Creator and Writer: Jimmy Nail / Costumes: Sarah Lubel (season one), Alyson Ritchie (season two) / Production Design: Phil Roberson (season one), Paul Laugier (season two) / Incidental Music: Tony McAnaney (season one), Guy Pratt (season two) / Executive Producers: Linda James, Jimmy Nail, Jen Samson (season one), Nail and Tarquin Gotch (season two) / Producer: Peter Wolfes / Director: David Richards
JIMMY NAIL as Jed Shepperd
JAMES WILBY as Ade Lynn
SAMMY JOHNSON as Archie
BRIAN CAPRON as Rex Hall
ALEX KINGSTON as Caroline Carlson
MELANIE HILL as Emma Shepperd
HANNAH TIPPLE as Becky Shepperd
JOHN BOWLER as Pep
JACQUETTA MAY as Rose Hall
VINCE PELLEGRINO as Snotter
SEASON ONE 10 November – 22 December 1994
1. THE TAPE
2. THE PITCH
3. THE DEAL
4. THE TRIP
5. THE TRUTH
6. THE CALL
7. THE END