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Classic TV Revisited: Lovejoy




Lovejoy was the Ian McShane starring Sunday night BBC staple from the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Phyllis Logan, Dudley Sutton, Chris Jury and Caroline Langrishe all co-starred.

The lowdown
The series centres on capers involving dodgy antiques dealer Lovejoy (Ian McShane) who is assisted by his chums Tinker (Dudley Sutton), Eric (Chris Jury), a vintage Morris Minor called Miriam and local aristocrat Lady Jane Felsham (Phyllis Logan). Although they accept that Lovejoy possesses some trade knowledge, his pals can’t understand why he pursues some ventures that appear doomed.

The storylines endear Lovejoy to viewers because he protects vulnerable punters from the dishonest dealers he outwits. He is a Robin Hood character, robbing con artists to protect the innocent.

Memorable moments
His constant flirtations with Lady Jane. The will-they-won’t-they get it together is a question posed in each episode, but the rogue often ends up doing something to trigger fury in the amorous aristocrat.

In one episode, after Lady Jane’s departure, Lovejoy is house-sitting Felsham Hall and showing potential buyers around. But, never missing the opportunity for a scam, he decides to use the place to flog other dealers’ antiques and reproductions. Everything goes well – until auctioneer Charlotte Cavendish (the gorgeous Caroline Langrishe) turns up and turns Lovejoy’s head.

McShane brought Lovejoy to the small screen after reading Jonathan Gash’s novels. The books concentrated more on the character’s criminal activities rather than the charming rogue of the series.

Lovejoy’s catchphrase
“It’s the genuine article, Tinker, I can feel it.”