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Ian McShane (1986-94)
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Lovejoy - The Complete Collection (UK DVD Set) (Jan. 2017: In Stock)

Ah, Lovejoy. BBC TV at its finest. The perfect escapism on a Sunday night for a generation. 73 episodes in all and and barely a dud in them ... (more)

The original & classic line-up, from left to right:
Dudley Sutton (Tinker), Ian McShane (Lovejoy),
Chris Jury (Eric Catchpole) and Phyllis Logan (Lady Jane Felsham).

Lovejoy was the antique dealer extraordinaire. There was little if anything he didn't know about antiques. If the storylines were music they would be deemed 'easy listening'. They were entertaining and though many stretched the imagination they never trespassed into the realms of the absurb. This was no mean feat when you consider that the writer Ian La Frenais was involved and seeing how he was partly responsible for the ridiculous plots of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet on its return in the 2000s. You know for a series & a half in the 1980s Auf Wiedersehen, Pet was the greatest thing seen on British TV ever because the comedy was rooted in its reality. Then when the group went to Spain and the writers bring in storylines that involve newspaper hacks you just know that they have lost the plot. By the time of the return the seven we had stupid, vacuous plots involving spys and Russian Mafia-type.

Mercifully in Lovejoy, La Frenais's flights of fantasy are nowhere near as bad though towards the end they border on barmy. The one in Wales and the radioactive ending episode both spring to mind.

Of course, part of the charm of the series is the scenery. Britain has rarely looked so sleepily picturesque. The series was shot mostly around Suffolk and Essex and the houses, the streets, the countryside ... all are important components to the gentle ducking and diving of Lovejoy.

Ian McShane delivers a tour de force performance. Without him Lovejoy just wouldn't have worked. His easy charm, mature sex appeal and charisma are what drive the series on and without which the show would never have gone past its 1st series. He is the glue holding it all together. But then McShane has always been an actor worth watching and it is no surprise that he is one of the few British actors to have actually done well in America. His subsequent work since Lovejoy has just increased his fame.

The supporting cast all play their part too. Dudley Sutton's eccentricity rarely irritates as Tinker and Chris Jury for me is one of the most underrated British actors of the last 20 years. Eric must have been a thankless task as it almost always involved him being stupid but he gives the character enough comic edge to make him always welcome on the screen. Phyllis Logan plays posh well as did Caroline Langrishe, who for me was the most important of Lovejoy's love interests. Of all the supporting roles outside the central characters the stand-out has to be the late Malcolm Tierney's Charlie Gimbert, played with almost Pantomine-like villainy.

8 years is a long time to be on British TV-Land. By the end it was time to go. While the shows were still watchable that tenuous, ethereal thingy that makes a show great has gone. Everyone seemed to have been going through the motions. But at its peak it was unmissable.

There has been talk over the years of bringing it back and I daresay in one form or the other it will come back. But it will bear no relation to the Lovejoy we know and love. The simple fact is that like for all of us 'time' has moved on and the actors are not like they were 20+ years ago. Who of us is?

It was another time, another place. But nostalgia makes it a wonderful place.

Below are all the UK Dvds from the shows. I highly recommend them even if you missed the show or have never even heard of it (can't believe that over 20 years have passed since it ended).

Finally, a word on the astonishingly high calibre of guest stars that appeared throughout its run. I don't think there has been a British series with such a depth of talent. You have the really great, the immortals of British cinema and theatre like Sir John Gielgud to the Hothouse Flowers and Dennis Taylor. In-between a few to mention: Joanna Lumley, Renee Asherson (a personal favourite of mine who was the wife of Robert Donat and whose career stretched back to Carol Reed and the sublime The Way Ahead and Powell & Pressburger's The Small Back Room in the 1940s), Jean Kent, Bill Travers, Adrienne Corri (check her out in Ealing's bathed in the colour of Heaven 1950s The Feminine Touch), Minnie Driver, Amanda Burton, Michael Kitchen, Dougray Scott, Simon Ward, Jack Shepherd, Brian Blessed, the Warrens Clarke and Mitchell, Phil Daniels, William Franklyn, Martin Clunes and of course one of two more than a little well known Americans including the queen of Dallas Linda Gray and Ken Kercheval. Anyone want to add to the list of the many names I've forgotten e-mail me here (

So many stars that The Smiths could have used them for their iconic record sleeves and would only been able to use a fraction of them.

~ © Paul Page, 2017

Some of the Locations Used

    []  Belchamp Hall in Belchamp Walter  (Felsham Hall & in the grounds Lovejoy's workshop for the last two seasons)
    []  Hedingham Castle  (Used for Prague in the 1992 Christmas Special The Prague Sun. The real Prague was also used)
    []  The Fox Inn, Finchingfield  (Used at the start of The Prague Sun)
    []  Finchingfield  (The Prague Sun & the episode from series 3, Kids)
    []  Great Bardfield  (Kids)
    []  The Clock Tower in Coggeshall  (Series 4 episode Taking the Pledge)
    []  Coggeshall High Street  (Taking the Pledge)
    []  Half Moon pub in Belchamp St Paul  (Series 5 episodes The Peking Gun & Never Judge A Book by it's Cover)
    []  The Townsford Mill in Halstead  (Series 4 episode The Ring)
    []  Belchamp Walter Church  (Final episode Last Tango in Lavenham)

If you have any more locations just e-mail me here and I'll add them. If possible please include episode the location appeared in. I would like to expand this page with more on Lovejoy & each episode as there doesn't seem to be that much on the net for what is one of the most fondly remembered shows in British TV history. If you can help with any info then I'd be delighted to hear from you.


The only main characters from the Jonathan Gash novels to appear in the TV shows were Lovejoy, Tinker and Gimbett.

Filmed the first series in 1985. Because of contractual problems they did not get round to filming the second series until 1989. By the second series it was regularly getting viewing figures of 15-16million a show in the UK.

Ian McShane hated the Volvo Lovejoy had to use in the first series though it was the car of choice for UK antique dealers at the time. He far preferred the Morris Minor Convertible used in series 2.

In real life Ian McShane didn't share Lovejoy's love for old furniture.

Minnie Driver appeared in the show among 1000 of other actors. A notable guest star was John Gielgud who insisted on calling McShane 'Loveboy'.

Filmed mainly in Essex and Suffolk.

The main cast at the end of the run, from left to right:
Ian McShane (Lovejoy), Caroline Langrishe (Charlotte Cavendish),
Diane Parish (Beth Taylor) and Dudley Sutton (Tinker Dill).

Lovejoy UK Dvds

Lovejoy - The Complete Collection (UK DVD Set) (2011) (Jan. 2017: In Stock)

Lovejoy - Kausi 1 (Finnish Official Dvd - Jan. 2017: 1 In Stock)

Lovejoy - Kausi 2 (Finnish Official Dvd - March 15: 1 In Stock)

Lovejoy - The Complete Lovejoy Collection (UK 21 Dvd Set)

Lovejoy - The Complete Series 1 (UK 3 Dvd Set)

Lovejoy - The Complete Series 2 (UK 3 Dvd Set)

Lovejoy - The Complete Series 3 (UK 4 Dvd Set)

Lovejoy - The Complete Series 4 (UK 4 Dvd Set)

Lovejoy - The Complete Series 5 (UK 4 Dvd Set)

Lovejoy - The Complete Series 6 (UK 3 Dvd Set)

Lovejoy - Collection Volume 1 (UK 1 Dvd) (3 Episodes: The Firefly Cage, The Axeman Cometh, The Sting)

Lovejoy - Collection Volume 2 (UK 1 Dvd) (3 Episodes: Friends, Romans & Enemies, The Judas Pair, To Sleep No More)

Lovejoy - Collection Volume 3 (UK 1 Dvd) (Episodes: The Real Thing, The March Of Time, Death And Venice (Parts 1 & 2))

Lovejoy - Collection Volume 4 (UK 1 Dvd) (3 Episodes: Just Desserts, The Italian Venus, Bin Diving)

Lovejoy - Collection Volume 5 (UK 1 Dvd) (3 Episodes: Montezuma's Revenge, Who Dares Sings, One Born Every Minute)

Lovejoy - Collection Volume 6 (UK 1 Dvd) (3 Episodes: National Wealth, Sugar And Spice, Raise The Hispanic)

Lovejoy - Collection Volume 7 (UK 1 Dvd) (3 Episodes: Lily's Pearls, Riding In Rollers, The Black Virgin Of Vladimir)

Lovejoy - Collection Volume 8 (UK 1 Dvd) (3 Episodes: Friends In High Places, Out To Lunch, No Strings)

Lovejoy - Collection Volume 9 (UK 1 Dvd) (3 Episodes: Angel Trousers, Benin Bronze, Eric Of Arabia)

Lovejoy - Collection Volume 10 (UK 1 Dvd) (3 Episodes: Scotch On The Rocks, Love Knots, Smoke Your Nose)

Lovejoy - Collection Volume 11 (UK 1 Dvd) (3 Episodes: Kids, Members Only, Highland Fling)

Lovejoy - Collection Volume 12 (UK 1 Dvd) (2 Episodes: The Prague Sun, The Napoleonic Commode)

Lovejoy - Collection Volume 13 (UK 1 Dvd) (3 Episodes: The Ring, Second Fiddle', The Colour Of Mary - March 15: 1 left in stock)

Lovejoy - Collection Volume 14 (UK 1 Dvd) (3 Episodes: Flag The Flag, Judgement Of Solomon, The Galloping Major)

Lovejoy - Collection Volume 15 (UK 1 Dvd) (3 Episodes: God Helps Those, They Call Me Midas, Irish Stew)

Lovejoy - Collection Volume 16 (UK 1 Dvd) (3 Episodes: Dainty Dish, Taking The Pledge, Lovejoy Loses It)

Lovejoy - Collection Volume 17 (UK 1 Dvd) (3 Episodes: Pig In A Poke, Who Is The Fairest Of Them All, A Going Concern)

Lovejoy - Collection Volume 18 (UK 1 Dvd) (3 Episodes: The Kaikemon Tiger, Three Men And A Brittle Lady, Ducking And Diving)

Lovejoy - Collection Volume 19 (UK 1 Dvd) (3 Episodes: Stones Of Destiny, Poetic License, The Peking Duck)

Lovejoy - Collection Volume 20 (UK 1 Dvd) (3 Episodes: Goose Bumps, Swings And Roundabouts, Never Judge A Book By Its Cover)

Lovejoy - Collection Volume 21 (UK 1 Dvd) (2 Episodes: The Price Of Fish, The Last Colony)

Lovejoy - Collection Volume 22 (UK 1 Dvd) (3 Episodes: Fair Exchange, Day Of Reckoning, Somewhere Over The Rainbow)

Lovejoy - Collection Volume 23 (UK 1 Dvd) (3 Episodes: Double Edge Sword, Guns And Roses, The Last Of The Uzkoks)

Lovejoy - Collection Volume 24 (UK 1 Dvd) (3 Episodes: Fruit Of The Desert, Holding The Baby, Last Tango In Lavenham)

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