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Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (ITV Drama, Mike Pratt, Kenneth Cope)

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Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) ITV Drama, Mike Pratt, Kenneth Cope

Quirky fantasy crime drama series Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) was about a private detective partnership that is still kept going even after one of the partners dies – when he comes back as a ghost. The American title My Partner the Ghost says it all really.

Marty Hopkirk (Kenneth Cope) is killed in a hit and run accident whilst on a case, given 24 hours to try and solve it he fails to return to his grave in time and is condemned to life as a ghost. His partner Jeff Randall (Mike Pratt) is the only one who can see him.

Marty dressed in a white suit and was able to pass through solid matter and make objects move and so on. Marty’s wife Jeannie played by Australian actress Annette Andre helped out Jeff in the office. The hardest part of all for Marty was that she couldn’t see him and he had to watch her grieving and see other men take an interest in her.

Plots in Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) tended to be either straight ahead comedy or out and out crime based. Similar in style and content to most of the other ITC shows of the time such as Department S or The Champions and glossily shot on film R&H made much use of such stock footage as the infamous White Jaguar flying over a cliff which cropped up in almost every ITC show.

Kenneth Cope as Marty wore a Beatle style wig and had the use of only a couple of the white suits, Cope claimed in an interview that the production staff were terrified he would get them dirty and slow down filming. This was another ITC series that suffered at the time from a disjointed airing schedule taking over a year for all 26 episodes to be shown across the various ITV regions.

2000-2001 saw a reasonably good revival on BBC-1 with comedians Vic Reeves as Marty and Bob Mortimer as Jeff.

Cast: MIKE PRATT as Jeff Randall; KENNETH COPE as Marty Hopkirk; ANNETTE ANDRE as Jeannie Hopkirk

Creator: Dennis Spooner / Titles: Chambers+Partners / Music: Edwin Astley / Producer: Monty Berman

UK / ITV – ITC – Scoton – ATV / 26×60 minute episodes / 19 September 1969 – 19 December 1970