Minder returns!

UK Terrestrial channel five has announced that it is to remake the classic British drama comedy series Minder. It has commissioned six episodes from Talkback Thames. Shane Ritchie (Alfie Moon in Eastenders), will star as Archie Daley, nephew of the original wheeler dealer Arthur Daley.

Taking the place of Dennis Waterman’s Terry McCann, who for the last 36 episodes of the original was himself replaced by Gary Webster as Ray Daley, will be Lex Shrapnel, who has just finished a two year stint with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Lex will be playing Jamie Collins, Archie’s minder.

Lex ShrapnelTo Cult TV fans, Lex was already something of a face to watch, having played John Tracy in the 2004 Thunderbirds movie. On the big screen, he was also in "Flyboys", "Minotaur" and "Nine Lives" (with Paris Hilton!). TV-wise, he has appeared in The Last Detective, and the TV specials “Sharpe’s Challenge” and “Beneath the Skin”. So, very much landing the role in Minder has been a natural progression, and quite possibly an inspired piece of casting.

Executive Producer for Talkback Thames, Jonathan Young, says the new version will move away from the gritty stories of the 1980s towards becoming a more family-based drama. “We want to satisfy fans of the original, but will also add different elements in order to excite new viewers”, he said.

Each episode will be a commercial hour long, and will centre on well-known London landmarks such as the London Eye, the Gherkin and Borough Market – all guaranteed to help overseas sales.

Ben Gale from five says the new series will have “all the humour and charm of the original.” Let’s hope he’s right.

The series is to be filmed this autumn and shown during 2009.