Actor David Hasselhoff has revealed plans to revive hit antiques crime TV series Lovejoy. However, while the sight of the Hoff flogging dodgy Victorian dining chairs and antique desks may please Lancashire fans, Lovejoy’s original creator is less sure, saying he may be a little too American to play the part Ian McShane made a success.
Part comedy, part drama, Lovejoy ran until 1994. Inspired by the Lovejoy novels of Jonathan Gash, it essentially told the story of a lovable, but roguish antique trader blessed with the ability to recognise antiques of exceptional value, as well as spot clever fakes. Along the way he became embroiled in various antiques-themed crimes and capers, aided by his inebriated “picker” Tinker, and various other sidekicks.
The series played down the antiques “folklore” of the books, which were so accurate that people thought they must have been written by someone with day-to-day experience of buying and selling antique chests and Victorian dining chairs. Lancashire readers may be surprised to know that Jonathon Gash is the pen-name of Dr John Grant, who trained as a specialist in tropical medicine before turning to a life of writing crime.
While John Grant remains sceptical about Hasselhoff’s ability to portray the adventurous, roguish Lovejoy, the people of Essex are keeping their fingers crossed the series will go ahead. Lovejoy “tourism” brought tremendous revenue to towns like Coggeshall – whose antiques shops were liberally used for the series.
For a taste of the Lovejoy experience, buy your antique balloon backed dining chairs from a Ribble Valley or Preston antique dealer. Both areas feature regularly on TV – though their traders are considerably more trustworthy than Lovejoy.
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