TV UK TV

Hazell (ITV 1978-1979, Nicholas Ball, Roddy McMillan)

Hazell

James Hazell (Nicholas Ball) was an ex-cop invalided out of the force because of a bad leg. He turned to drink and wrecked his marriage before becoming a private detective whose manor was the London suburbs. His nemesis was copper Choc Minty (Roddy McMillan) who was determined to wreck his life. Hazell was aided in his investigations by cousin Tel (Desmond McNamara).

The series was based on the novels of PB Yuill, pseudonym of Terry Venables and Gordon Williams, author of the book on which Straw Dogs was based. It was made by ITV in 1978 after it was discovered there was a demand for a London-based crime series in the same vein as The Sweeney. Nicholas Ball – Pamela Stephenson’s husband before Billy Connolly – was recruited as the disillusioned private eye.

A film noir vibe was well to the fore and audiences loved the stylish location filming and seedy reality shots in settings such as Acton, the East End and Clapton Greyhound Stadium. The theme tune was by Roxy Music saxophonist Andy McKay.

There were 13 episodes planned for the first season but an ITV strike meant only ten were made. The three stories that didn’t get made were titled Hazell Stands In For Sam Stone, Hazell And The Soup Siege and Hazell’s Three Star Night.

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 22×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 16 January 1978 – 30 January 1980

Creators: Terry Venables, Gordon Williams from their books / Script Editor: Richard Harris (season two) / Music: Andy Mackay / Producers: June Roberts (season one), Tim Aspinall (season two)

cast
Nicholas Ball as James Hazell
Desmond McNamara as Cousin Tel
Roddy McMillan as Choc Minty
Barbara Young as Dot (season one)
Maggie Riley as Maureen (season one)
Peter Bourke as Graham Morris

THE EPISODES
SEASON ONE 16 January – 20 March 1978
1. HAZELL PLAYS SOLOMON (16 Jan 1978)
2. HAZELL PAYS A DEBT (23 Jan 1978)
3. HAZELL AND THE WALKING BLUR (30 Jan 1978)
4. HAZELL SETTLES THE ACCOUNTS (6 Feb 1978)
5. HAZELL MEETS THE FIRST ELEVEN (13 Feb 1978)
6. HAZELL AND THE RUBBER HEEL BRIGADE (20 Feb 1978)
7. HAZELL GOES TO THE DOGS (27 Feb 1978)
8. HAZELL AND THE WEEKEND MAN (6 Mar 1978)
9. HAZELL WORKS FOR NOTHING (13 Mar 1978)
10. HAZELL AND THE MALTESE VULTURE (20 Mar 1978)

SEASON TWO 19 April 1979 – 30 January 1980
1. HAZELL AND THE BAKER STREET SLEUTH (19 Apr 1979)
2. HAZELL AND THE DEPTFORD VIRGIN (26 Apr 1979)
3. HAZELL BANGS THE DRUM (3 May 1979)
4. HAZELL GETS THE BOOT (10 May 1979)
5. HAZELL GETS THE BIRD (17 May 1979)
6. HAZELL AND THE BIG SLEEP (24 May 1979)
7. HAZELL AND THE SUFFOLK GHOST (31 May 1979)
8. HAZELL AND HYDE (7 Jun 1979)
9. HAZELL AND THE HAPPY COUPLE (14 Jun 1979)
10. HAZELL GETS THE PART (21 Jun 1979)
11. HAZELL AND THE GREASY GUNNERS (28 Jun 1979)
12. HAZELL AND THE PUBLIC ENEMY (30 Jan 1980)