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Must See TV: Minder


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Must See TV: Minder, ITV1, 6th January 2006.

Must See TV is a documentary series made by Talent TV for the television channel ITV.  It looks back at famous and sucessfull ITV programmes of the past to celebrate the 50th birthday of the channel.  Previous programmes have included Brideshead Revisted, Spitting Image Upstairs Downstairs and The Sweeney.  On the 6th of January 2006 Minder was featured on this show and I was Invited to the filming of it on the 13th of December 2005 with the Minder Jaguar.  Here is the story of the day.......
Click on images to enlarge.........

It was 6:30am when I left my house with the Minder Jaguar on a trailer behind my Land Rover en route to Bristol for the filming of Must See TV.  I felt physically drained by the recent late nights and early mornings getting the car into a presentable state so that it could appear on TV.  It really was a case of blood sweat and tears to get it ready in time but as I looked in the rear view mirror and see it shining in the morning sunlight I knew that it had all been worthwhile.
At around 9 o'clock I arrived at Bristol Trade Centre where a set similar to Arthur's Car Lot has been created with a portacabin and several classic cars  with tacky price stickers on their windscreen's to create an authentic look.  I unloaded the Jag and drove it around the corner into the set in front of "Arthur's office".  A film crew of around 25 were discussing the sequence of events that would follow and the director showed me where to place the car ready for filming.  I chatted with several of the other classic car owners that were there and we compaired stories of our vehicles and tucked into the complimentary tea and biscuits!
As I looked around the lovely old cars that were on show I was of course instantly drawn to the white Ford Capri that "Terry" used in the first few series of Minder.  SLE71R was parked in front of the Jag and looked very good as it too has recently been restored.  I was somewhat relieved that now I had chance the to see the work I had done to my car from a distance, it was in fact as good as the restoration of the Capri. I could only think on my way there of turning up with the Jag in a "presentable " state and the other car of interest being in concorse condition.  Luckily this was not the case and although it had a great job done of the restoration the Capri was not without minor faults.
Shane Richie the presenter of the documentary arrived shortly after in a brand new chauffeur driven silver Jaguar XJ8.  It was lovely to glance between this car and mine to see how little has changed 20 years.  Mr Richie stepped out of the back flanked by two "minders" and introduced himself to the crew and car owners.  He told of how he was a genuine fan of minder and said that George Cole had been of great influence to him in his career.  He walked around the cars and was impressed that the Jag and the Capri were the actual ones used in the series.  After a short read through his scripts Shane delivered his first piece to camera.
I was very suprised by the amount of time it takes to make a couple of minutes of film.  Two dry runs are done to make sure the presenter and cameras are all in the right positions and then filming begins for real.  Several takes were done of each link so that the best ones could be edited together at a later date.  Cars going by and other noises from people and planes create problems so more takes have to be done.
After about an hour, filming started by the Capri and Shane Richie delivered a piece that would be a link to the story of "Terry".  He told of how after being released from prison Arthur took him under his wing and provided him with a home, a job and the Capri that he was standing next to.
Filming then stopped for a short lunch.  The Director was keen to conclude all outdoor scenes soon as the winter sun was fading and there was a question over continuity if it got darker. 
During the break the gentleman who owned the Capri turned up and introduced himself to Shane.  He told of the car's history from being found in a scrapyard with car batteries on it's roof to the time when an ex-robber owned it and kept getting pulled over by the police for no reason except their subconcious recognition of the number plate!  He then told how he bought the car from the person who found it and had it restored.  When asked by Shane of it's value, he estimated 25,000.
When filming resumed the director wanted the final link of the programme done before the light faded.  The camera dolly was set up next to the Jag and everyone prepaired themselves for the final out door shot.  When action was called the camera panned up from the number plate of the Jag and over the bonnet to Shane Richie stepping out of the portacabin.  He delivered the final lines of the programme and then filmed a short trailer to be shown between other programmes on ITV.
The director then told us that we could leave so I said my goodbyes and I loaded the Jag back onto the trailer to go home.
I waited with anticipation over ther Christmas period and on the 6th of January 2006 the programme was broadcast at 10pm.  Although it wasn't to the taste of many members of the forum, I thought it was quite good.  At the end of the show the end piece came up and to be fair the car looked fantastic.  Although it was only on air for a short time I am thourghly pleased to have finished it and got it back on television after all these years.

The Jag on set.

Side View.

Other Cars on the Car Lot

Shane Richie arrives on set

Filming Begins

The Capri being filmed

The Set

The Jag being filmed

Shane Richie while filming with the Jag.

The Jag outside "Arthur's office"

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