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Shut It!

The Inside Story of The Sweeney

Shut It!
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Shut It!
The Inside Story of The Sweeney
Pat Gilbert

The Sweeney broke the mould for British cop shows. Until it was broadcast, they'd been rather stolid, sometimes quaint, dramas like Dixon of Dock Green, Z-Cars and Softly, Softly about policemen -- or even bobbies: not cops.

Then, in 1975, The Sweeney burst onto commercial television. Based on the notoriously corrupt activities of Scotland Yard's Flying Squad, it followed two dishevelled, uncouth detectives, Regan and Carter, played by John Thaw and Dennis Waterman, who hurtled around unsalubrious parts of London in a battered Ford Granada roughing up anyone who failed to spill the beans quickly enough.

Now, in Shut It!, Pat Gilbert investigates the culture of law and order in the '70s that inspired and shaped the series, interviewing dozens of people who made it happen, from screenwriters to stuntmen as well as real-life Flying Squad officers. Shut It! reveals the behind-the-scenes bust-ups, on-set brawls, mythical drinking sessions and intriguing backroom secrets -- the story of how Britain's greatest ever cop show was made.
Aurum Press; Read online