I’m reading the first Lovejoy novel at the moment, for larks, and it’s not about the mischevious rogue we see on TV, but instead about a character with the same name who’s a violent, misogynistic grade-one arsehole. Who likes antiques.
I’ve no idea why the book reviewer in the Belfast Telegraph calls him loveable, in their review of the second novel on the 13th November 1978.
Ian La Frenais, and his production company came to be interested in the Lovejoy character, and the show they produced was much warmer evening fare than the source material seems to be.
On the 2nd May 1985, the show was announced in The Stage like this:
On the 5th December, there was this little mention of the show, also in The Stage, about a month before it would be broadcast.
The series did well, and everyone was set for a second, but it never came. I guess the assumption was that Ian McShane was too busy over in the States, making episodes of Miami Vice, Dallas, Perry Mason, and Columbo. But the truth was rather more … esoteric.
It’s a shame that this article in The Stage (10th April 1986) doesn’t get into the specifics of the disagreement, but it’s interesting that Witzend owned the whole property, including the involvement of Ian McShane.
And then, seemingly out of nowhere, on the 3rd January 1991, this happened:
Dispute resolved I guess.