Shoestring (1979) - News Poster

(1979–1980)

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Robert Banks Stewart obituary

Creator of Shoestring, Bergerac, Lovejoy and other popular television series

Robert Banks Stewart, who has died at the age of 84, was a writer and producer whose knack for casting and determination to break the mould made two of television’s most enduring detective series, Shoestring and Bergerac, big ratings winners for the BBC.

Knowing that the corporation was, in 1979, looking for a new crime show, Stewart decided to jettison the idea of traditional cops-and-robbers drama, instead conceiving – with the playwright Richard Harris – a series about a private eye, Eddie Shoestring, who works for a local radio station. With its Bristol setting (chosen by Stewart to be a welcome change from the London suburbs hitherto ubiquitous to such dramas), distinctive score by George Fenton, and breakout performance from the then little-known Trevor Eve, Shoestring became a ratings hit. It ran for two series and was nominated for a Bafta.

Continue reading.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

UK television neglecting older writers, says 'Bergerac' creator

Veteran television writer Robert Banks Stewart has claimed that older writers are neglected by today's television industry,

Banks Stewart - who created the popular detective dramas Bergerac and Shoestring - spoke to Digital Spy about his decision to adapt his TV pitch The Hurricane's Tail into his first novel.

"Back when I was still firing in possible new series, I began to feel that the attitude was, 'He's nearly 70, this guy - forget it' - it was a bit deflating when a Head of Drama doesn't write back to you, but gets his secretary to do it," said the 81-year-old.

"That was my experience then and there's a lot of writers I know - especially around my age - who have been finding it very hard to get any ideas over."

Banks Stewart - who wrote for Doctor Who, The Sweeney and The Avengers as well - also criticised "top
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Your next box set: Shoestring

What seemed like fast, grimy realism in 1979 now feels languid and unmenacing. But there is still something pleasurable about this private detective drama

How the memory plays tricks. When Eddie Shoestring made his debut as a private investigator in the autumn of 1979, he was must-watch TV. Shoestring was Radio West's "private ear": a burnt-out computer geek turned airwaves sleuth who would launch investigations on behalf of his listeners. He wore pyjama tops as shirts and had a droopy moustache and even droopier bags under his eyes that hinted at a world of pain. I loved Shoestring and I loved this BBC show. He was a man who spoke my language and the storylines felt sharp and timely: prostitution, drugs, punk, hippies, religious cults. Shoestring didn't judge, though. He could find the good and the bad in anyone.

My affection for the show, set in Bristol, has never diminished.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

‘Doctor Who’ thing of the day: Trevor Eve says ‘Doctor Who’ is too expensive

An excellent way to get attention in the British press? Say anything at all about Doctor Who... and if it’s sure to piss off fans, all the better. From Mail Online: Waking the Dead actor Trevor Eve has claimed his own programme should have been axed three years ago and said hit shows like Doctor Who are too expensive. In a bizarre rant to promote his new ITV drama Kidnap and Ransom, the former Shoestring star said intellectually stimulating programming suffers due to the commercial success of the BBC's most high-profile shows.
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

Rewind TV: Derren Brown: Hero at 30,000 Feet; U Be Dead; Mad Men; Bouquet of Barbed Wire; This is England '86

From David Morrissey to Derren Brown, it's been a dramatic week for the power of suggestion

Derren Brown: Hero at 30,000 Feet | 4Od

U Be Dead | ITV Player

Mad Men | iPlayer

Bouquet of Barbed Wire | ITV Player

This is England '86 | 4Od

You're in a plane, terrified of flying, sipping water in tiny bird sips to manage the panic attack and thinking, instead, of sex (it's the only thing that helps, honest), trying desperately not to hear those sounds, the too-loud flaps and creaks and hydraulic jerks unaccountably designed to sound precisely like "a wing starting to fall off". Quite unbeknown to you, everyone else on board apart from the crew is an actor, and wired and miked up to catch your fear, and all in on the game: and then even the genuine captain pretends to be dying, slumped comatose, and the steward is begging you, yes, you, the
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Alice Eve to play Emma Frost in X-Men: First Class

Alice Eve is set to play Emma Frost in 20th Century Fox's X-Men: First Class.

The 28-year-old Brit - daughter of Shoestring detective series star Trevor Eve - starred in romantic comedy She's Out of My League and was also in Sex and the City 2.

Eve (pictured below) had been in line to appear as love interest Peggy Carter in Marvel's Captain America film but lost out to Hayley Atwell.

Deadline and HeatVision are both reporting that the actress is in negotiations for the X-Men role.

The film has been officially described as a prequel though, interestingly, HeatVision calls it a relaunch, suggesting the story may depart from the continuity of the existing X-Men films.

Emma Frost, played by 24-year-old Tahyna Tozzi in a cameo role in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, has telepathic powers and, in the early comics, was a villain who took the name White Queen; as a
See full article at The Geek Files »

Elizabeth Chater

My friend Elizabeth Chater, who has died aged 83, was known to the acting world by the stage name Elizabeth Havelock. She would light up any screen – for instance, as the fortune teller in an early episode of the 1970s TV detective series Shoestring. Lighting up her environment was a characteristic of Elizabeth's, I realised, when we met in 1999 at a poetry reading. She was elegant and warm, but with a toughness that had something of the stiletto to it.

She was born Elizabeth Devonshire Jones in Bath. As a girl, she rode horses and model trains – her father, a businessman and landowner, and a train fanatic, had built his own steam railway. Elizabeth's mother at one point had two grand pianos, but with her father's death in 1948, the family lost everything.

Elizabeth, then in her 20s, turned to antique dealing. This continued for nearly 60 years of Sundays throughout her acting and family life.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Pass notes No 2,723: Trevor Eve

The Waking the Dead star turns out to be one of the Beeb's highest-paid stars

Age: 58.

Appearance: Disgraced Gp on unpaid leave.

Is that what he is, then? No, he's an actor.

Never heard of him. He first wormed his way into our hearts ­playing a ­private detective in the much-loved late-70s television series Shoestring.

Before my time, mate. More ­recently he has starred as Detective ­Superintendent Peter Boyd in all eight series of the police drama Waking the Dead.

I don't really watch that much ­television, to be honest. You know what? There's no point – let's just stop here.

Just kidding. I know exactly who you mean. What about him? He's just been outed as the BBC's highest-paid actor.

Trevor? Never. He is. He gets £700,000 per series of Waking the Dead, ­according to the Daily Mail. Or even £1m, according to the Sun. Industry insiders say it's probably less than that,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

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