Published On: Sat, Mar 2nd, 2024

TV detective Bergerac may get back on the beat in £1.8 million reboot | UK | News

Driving his classic burgundy 1947 Triumph Roadster along the country lanes of the picturesque Channel Island of Jersey, private detective Jim Bergerac was compulsive Sunday night viewing in the 1980s.

The much-loved crime show starring John Nettles in the title role of the maverick ex-alcoholic cop turned private investigator, continues to be repeated on channels like Drama and Alibi, such is its’ enduring popularity.

The long-running series, which ran from 1981 to 1991, regularly attracted 15 million viewers and gave Jersey a significant tourism boost, the so-called “set jet” effect.

Now a much-anticipated reboot of the drama is finally set to come to fruition after several false starts and delays.

Later this week the Government of Jersey will consider funding a new series to the possible tune of £1.8 million.

The government’s contemplation of a public funding proposal to rejuvenate the iconic TV series has ignited discussions on the potential impact on Jersey’s film and television industry and tourism once again.

Chief Minister Deputy Lyndon Farnham confirmed the proposal during a States Assembly session which is due to be discussed this coming week.

The discussion comes after years of speculation and unfulfilled plans to bring back the beloved detective show.

However it is not expected the man himself, John Nettles, who went on to star in Midsomer Murders, will return in the title role as he is now 80 years old but sources say there are “big names” interested in the role and Nettles may appear in a cameo.

It is hoped that filming will finally take place this summer after the proposal in the Jersey parliament is discussed later this week.

As well as a new actor in the title role one of the locations will have to be changed.

The original series featured the Haut de la Garenne children’s home as the police station.

The building became the centre of a historic child abuse investigation forcing the BBC to shelve plans for a complete re-run of the original shows.

Aside from Nettles, Bergerac featured Terence Alexander, who played his former father-in-law Charlie Hungerford and Liza Goddard, who played the glamorous jewel thief Philippa Vale who enjoyed flirtatious exchanges with Bergerac.

The likes of Philip Glenister, Ray Winstone, Prunella Scales and Steve McFadden made guest appearances during its 10 year run.

The first of nine series began with divorced father DS Jim Bergerac returning to work after recovering from alcoholism and breaking his leg.

The final episode was the 1991 Christmas Special titled “All for Love”which gave viewers a strong hint about Bergerac’s future, after he is recommended for a new position heading an expanded Bureau des Étrangers covering the whole of the Channel Islands following its success in Jersey.

Before the pandemic the Bergerac reboot was reaching its final stages with Paramount Network, Westward Studios, Artists’ Studios and Endemol Shine UK.

Then in 2020 French TV production firm Banijay acquired Endemol Shine which meant that the previous Bergerac project team was split up.

Westward Studios, Banijay – and its company BlackLight – eventually decided to buy back the script from the owners of Paramount and start again, with the rights to develop the series being renewed last year.

In 2022 Westward Studios executive producer Brian Constantine said the new production was in its final stages of development and said they hoped to film in the island as much as possible.

“It really depends on the broadcaster but one would hope maybe 2024 could be the time that you see it absolutely back on our screens in terms of first season.”

The BBC are not thought to be involved in the reboot but instead another broadcaster is thought to be bringing it back to UK screens this year.

A spokesperson for the Government of Jersey confirmed: “The Council of Ministers will be considering a request for funding for a series of Bergerac when they meet next week.”

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