Bit of a shout out to the excellent Jane Asher Source Blogspot here, with a few screencaps of Jane's guest appearance in the very first episode of Gordon Williams and Terry Venables London private eye drama, Hazell.
Entitled Hazell Plays Solomon and broadcast on 16th January 1978, our hero, played by Nicholas Ball (pictured with Jane) finds himself caught up in a tricky tug-of-love case when Jane's character arrives from America with the belief that a couple's daughter is actually her child and that the hospital mistakenly switched them at birth.
It's one of Jane's more brittle portrayals; her character starts out a tough no-nonsense whiny sounding, successful American from Bel Air but it turns out that this exterior (and slightly unbelievable accent) is a bit of a false facade as she's originally a working class Londoner who has married well. She informs Hazell that her own daughter had recently been involved in a car accident and the bloods of the child and Jane and her husband don't match and are biologically impossible. Adding to this evidence is the fact that the child she suspect is really hers has the same red hair that Jane does too - cue her revealing her famous locks by whipping off the rather unflattering turban she had been wearing up until that point. It's always good to see Jane shake her hair free!
Hazell does his digging though and finds out that Jane isn't as tough as she appears. She's a coke addict whose child died in the car accident and her marriage broke down as a result. He becomes convinced that she's obsessed with this switched at birth theory and will do anything to have a child of her own once more.
Cue Jane stealing the young girl in the sinister and scary climax! Thankfully Hazell arrives on the scene and retrieves the girl for her parents, but there's tears before bedtime for Jane.
Hokey accent aside (and as I say, at least it was rather intentional) this is a great role for Jane which shows her range rather well and I liked the touch of having her hide behind things like big sunglasses, headscarves and turbans - all very tacky yet delightfully 70s. I'm sure too that her guest role helped boost Hazell's debut and captured the public's attention.