Adrian Lester was absent from the fourth season due to scheduling conflicts. Mickey's absence is explained as pulling off the ultimate con - selling the Sydney Opera House. Lester also admitted that he felt that the series "just got a little bit too 'light'".
Throughout his appearances, Danny Blue is referred to 'the kid' who will take over from Mickey as leader in due course. However, Marc Warren is in fact older than Adrian Lester, who play Danny and Mickey respectively.
In response to the extremely positive reaction, the BBC recommissioned the show for a second series on 17 March 2004, after just three episodes had aired. The second series retained much of the initial production team including Tony Jordan as lead scriptwriter, and introduced Karen Willson as producer.
Jaime Murray was reportedly "terrified" to be working with the more famous actors Robert Vaughn and Adrian Lester, saying "when we were filming the first couple of episodes I was absolutely petrified and was convinced that it would be really obvious on screen. So when I watched some of it on tape I was totally amazed that you couldn't see how frightened I really was. I kept thinking, 'Oh my God! I'm working with Adrian Lester and Robert Vaughn. Any time now someone is going to tap me on the shoulder and ask me to get my coat!'"
The lead actors were given professional instruction in sleight-of-hand and pickpocketing; "all the tricks of the trade from card-shuffling to stealing watches", according to Adrian Lester. The cast found the experience informative; Jaime Murray explained, "I realised that most cons are all about diversion - while you're trying to con somebody you're doing something to distract them in the opposite direction so they don't notice and that's exactly how pickpockets work".
Although having numerous credits in film and on the stage, Adrian Lester was an unknown face in television, having had less than two hours' broadcast screen time prior to the first series. Lester explained that he "couldn't imagine playing the same character for years, but Hustle was completely different. In the very first rehearsal we were doing a dance routine and then the next thing I know I'm whacking out several different accents and I just thought, 'I'm in heaven, this is great!'"
Several members of the cast described the series' filming schedule as incredibly hectic. Robert Vaughn said that "[the role] was offered to me, and I was told to get on a plane an hour after I got the phone call and start shooting the following day." Speaking in 2009 after filming four series of the show, Adrian Lester explained that "when we start shooting Hustle we film two episodes concurrently, with the scenes out of sequence. Knowing where you are in the intricate plots at any one moment is... challenging".
Bharat Nalluri conceived the idea for the series in 2002 while filming the first season of MI-5 (2002). He then pitched the concept to Jane Featherstone, Managing Director of Kudos Film & Television which was the production company behind Spooks, in the back of a taxi while returning from a day's filming. Intrigued by the idea, Featherstone recruited Tony Jordan to develop it into a workable proposal.