Wednesday 18 October 2017

It's the perfect time to axe Inspector George Gently, says its star Martin Shaw

The BBC1 police drama is being wrapped up after 10 years.

By Julia Hunt

Actor Martin Shaw says he has no hard feelings about the end of his long-running alter-ego George Gently.

BBC1 police drama Inspector George Gently is being wrapped up after 10 years.

Martin, 72, former star of The Professionals, told Radio Times magazine that he is “not in the slightest” bit angry about the BBC’s decision to axe the show, but he was emotional after filming its ending.

“I think it’s absolutely the perfect time to do it,” the former Judge John Deed star told the magazine.

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“It feels completely appropriate. I had no difficulty in letting go of the role, because it makes space for something else.

“All through the last day of filming, people were saying ‘are you going to be emotional?’ I said ‘no, not at all’.

“It’s a fact of life. Things come to an end. And then, after the last shot, I started to make a little speech… and I was gone. Bang! So I did get emotional, after all.”

The much-loved detective series is drawing to a close with two feature-length episodes later this month.

Martin has previously spoken of his dislike for The Professionals, the 1970s ITV series which propelled him to fame, saying it “was like being an Action Man doll. No humanity, just a function”.

“I foolishly signed a contract that I thought they would let me out of. It’s completely my own fault,” he told the magazine.

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“After the first one, I thought I’d graciously be able to say ‘thank you very much, but this is not for me’.”

He said he made four-and-a-half series while not wanting to be there and believes that the shoot was scheduled in a way which made it difficult for him to take on other work.

“I don’t think it was spite. I think it was proprietorial,” he said.

“We got paid very little for The Professionals. Very little. We started on £400 a week and finished on about £1,500 a week.”

But he added: “All that antipathy has faded away.”

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