The DYR blog

The blog with general chat about all things from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s plus news about new features and developments on the website.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Ah, Ian Mcshane. He seems a whole world away from Lovejoy now – these days with his appearances in the iconic US series Deadwood, and as “Blackbeard” in “Pirates of the Caribbean 4”, it’s difficult to remember the humble beginnings of the actor.

But as "Lovejoy" Ian Mcshane was every part a charismatic talisman for 1980's Britain. The show was brilliantly British in it’s view and aspirations – what other country would choose one of it’s most popular programmes of the era to be about the antiques trade? Lovejoy was a loveable rogue, always with an eye for a bargain – and robin hood tendencies.

First shown in 1986, the show ran sporadically until 1994, for a total of 6 series. There were a few changes of actors in the series but the essential characters stayed the same.

One fairly big thing that did change was Lovejoy’s haircut! Lovejoy's mullet hairstyle came in for the second series and was a very very funny thing to behold – it’s worth buying an episode for that haircut alone!

Well, now, for the first time the whole boxed set of Lovejoy DVD’s are available to buy! Yes, all 73 episodes over the 6 series.

There are a whole host of cameo’s over the series – Joanna Lumley, Brian Blessed, Linda Grey, James Nesbitt!

Lovejoy the TV programme was actually based on a series of books by a novelist called John Grant. And in the series the Antiques trade became quite exciting to an outsider - Lovejoy had a reputation in the antiques trade as a "divvie", meaning one with a talent for recognising brilliant items. So it gave him a hero-like super power! Or that’s how my 11 year old brain saw it.

So, I you are watching the new Pirates of the Carribean movie and instead of a blast from the aft cannons, you fancy a blast from the past – buy up the boxed set! Lovejoy is waiting – with his mullet!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Get Telly on your Telly!

He was perhaps the coolest cop that ever made it to the TV screens. He was certainly the Baldest one! While William Shatner was being all cool as TJ Hooker, and Peter Falk was hamming it up as Colombo, Telly Savalas was keeping it real with Kojak.

Kojak was a detective on the mean streets of 1970’s New York, as Telly said of the character: "he was basically an honest guy, tough but with feelings – he understood the criminals because maybe they grew up on the same kind of block."

The character was ranked 18th greatest TV character of all time by TV Guide. And it’s easy to see why.

Here, for the first time on DVD you can get the 4th and 5th series, and well worth the trip back in time they are too. He’s the coolest cat on the block – maybe just buy the DVD's so you can start emulating his “cool” at the next 70’s themed disco…

The show aired from 1973, to 1978. Kojak's Greek American heritage, the same as actor Savalas', was a big part of the series and the character and the series.

Interesting fact – which kind of reminds you about what the 1970’s was like - In the early episodes of the series, Kojak smoked heavily; but there was a growing anti-smoking campaign in America at the time and so the writers decided that Kojak had quit smoking. So.. he began sucking on lollipops as a substitute! What the Dentists of America would say about we aren’t sure…

He had a great catchphrase, "Who loves ya, baby?", yeah, who loves ya? We at DYR can only wish we were that cool. Perhaps we’ll crack open the lollipops, get in the wide lapelled suits and shave our heads and see where that gets us…? Or perhaps not.