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Thursday, 28 November 2013

Lewis Collins: A True Professional

The following article was originally published as part of our TV Cops Weekend back in 2010 but is here reposted after the sad passing of actor Lewis Collins.

"I knew what it was like to be pushed around as a kid,' Lewis Collins told the TV Times in 1979. 'When you grow up in the jungles of Birkenhead you know how to look after yourself. I guess you could say I'm a survivor."

It was always difficult to distinguish Lewis Collins, the actor, from the tough guy Bodie he played in the long running TV show, The Professionals.

The show was made by Avengers MK1 Productions and LWT and ran for 57 episodes between 1977 and 1983.

'We (Collins and Martin Shaw) wanted to do all our own stunts. When you see those cars belting down the streets that's us at the wheel.' Collins boasted to TV Detective Annual 1980.

Created by Brian Clemens of Avengers fame, the show was initially to be called A-Squad before the name was changed to The Professionals at the eleventh hour. The show was set around the adventures of two detectives Bodie and Doyle who worked for CI5 - an elite law enforcement organisation that was a mixture of CID and MI5. And although the show still aired until 1983 the final episodes were actually filmed in 1981.

"Although I like to keep fit," Martin Shaw told The TV Times in 1978. "I wasn't prepared for the strenuous training schedule they put us through before the series started filming."

The Professionals was extremely successful and was made to be a cross between The Sweeney and Starskyand Hutch. The crime fighting duo even had their own iconic cop car - The Ford Capri. And even after the show ended it still drew in an audience - when it was shown on the now defunct Granada + in 1997 it was the channels highest rated show bringing in 1million viewers per episode. A remake CI5 The New Professionals was produced by Sky One in the late 1990's but it was not a hit.

The Professionals on the web - there is only one place to go really and that's HERE

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