In the 1970s, writer Leon Griffiths was touting a screenplay he had penned about London's gangland around various production companies with little success. Eventually someone gave him some advice; the script wasn't much cop, but two minor characters - a used car salesman and his bodyguard/gopher - had potential, 'why don't you write a series about them?' Griffiths was told and sure enough, he took the advice and created Minder.
The show was quickly picked up by Euston Films in 1979 as a vehicle for Dennis Waterman, who was looking for a new show after The Sweeney had finished its run. He was cast as the titular Minder, the former professional boxer and ex convict Terry McCann, to the wheeler dealing minor con Arthur Daley played by George Cole.
Waterman stayed with the show until the seventh series in 1989. It seemed to signify the end, but Minder returned in 1991 with Gary Webster as Arthur's nephew Ray Daley taking on the strong arm duties until its eventual conclusion in 1994. Let us not speak of Channel 5's ridiculously poor 'reboot' with the odious Shane Ritchie as another Daley nephew, Archie, and Lex Shrapnel as his 'minder' Jamie. It lasted for just one series in 2009.
As Little Britain fans will know, Dennis Waterman always 'sings da feem toon', and Minder was no exception; along with songwriter Kenny, he provided the cheery pub singalong I Could Be So Good For You which reached number 3 in the UK charts of November 1980
A criminal record? You decide.