Dennis Waterman death news – TV legend & New Tricks star dies aged 74 with cause of death unknown

Dennis Waterman was the embodiment of a golden age of TV

This is Ally Ross’s comment piece

THE sad, unexpected news of Dennis Waterman’s death will have hit a generation of viewers like a right hook from Terry McCann yesterday.

For those of us of a certain age, the actor and his two greatest creations embodied a golden and better age not just for TV but the country itself.

The first was his 1975-78 role as DS George Carter, alongside John Thaw’s equally memorable Jack Regan, in The Sweeney.

They were Flying Squad officers, whose alcohol-sodden and violent crime-fighting was criticized by cultural busy-bodies but loved by everyone else.

When you mention the show, a 50-plus audience will feel a warm glow of satisfaction. They may also feel regretful as they murmur. “Get ya trousers on, you’re nicked.”

Almost impossibly, though, Waterman’s second great role, as Minder’s long-suffering Terry McCann, was even better.

The show was watched by 16 million viewers. Its two main characters, lovable rogues loved by many, were the most popular.

It is a great British television series and can claim the title of the best. Much of its success is down to Leon Griffiths’s writing and George Cole’s portrayal of Arthur Daley, a corrupt West London spiv.

The fact that it was sometimes brutally real and had a heart full of gold was due to the presence Waterman, who was born to box Terry McCann and chase payments from. “Arfur. ARFUR??!”

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