Tuesday, 8 June 2010


I have a confession to make. For years I took the mickey out of my brother for liking the tv programme Heartbeat. I could never work out how he could have such an edgy and cool taste in tv, yet could love something so schmaltzy and so unappealing as Heartbeat. And then something happened to me.... I got sort of old. I caught a rerun of Heartbeat on ITV3 and really enjoyed it. Now it's a case of a Sky+ series link and that heady feeling of excitement when there's a new episode to watch. The best episodes had PC Nick Rowan (played by Nick Berry), Kate his wife, and Claude Greengrass. The episode when Kate dies of leukaemia will be forever etched on my brain for that 'Love Story' moment when the storyline is so sad, you're sobbing into your crisps and your nose runs. Yes, the programme is a little sentimental at times and reflects the 1960's through rose-tinted spectacles. At times, the sleepy Yorkshire village of Aidensfield has a crime rate matched only by downtown LA or the Bronx. And then there's the problem of the longest decade since time began. It depicted 1962 when it first aired in 1992. By the time Heartbeat came off air in 2009, it had only reached 1968. But we won't worry about little trivialities like that and instead talk about the good stuff. Good acting (with the exception of Gina the scouse barmaid and Alfred the dog), good costumes, great music and great storylines. It had some great eye candy in the shape of the very lovely Nick Berry and my personal favourite, Jason Durr who played PC Mike Bradley. The cars and motorbikes used are also good to see again. No hightech car chases with BMW's here.. more like a Ford Anglia or mini van panda car and an old BSA. 
A great supporting cast and a nostalgic window into a world of the local pub where you could smoke, village community life, red phone boxes, a Post Office, and village bobbys who were clean shaven and wore a shirt and tie. And last but not least, it's good to see how many actors who had a bit part in Heartbeat and who later rose to the heady heights of Hollywood and megastardom in boyband revivals (Daniel Craig and Gary Barlow to name but a few). 
So, I apologise to my lovely brother for putting up with my eyes rolling and tutting when the word 'Heartbeat' was mentioned. I'm hooked and I can't help it. I draw the line however at The Royal and Rosemary and Thyme. I do have some taste after all...

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