1979 | United Kingdom

After suffering a nervous breakdown, computer expert Eddie Shoestring is offered, as part of his therapy, the chance to help out a local Bristol-based radio station, Radio West, with an investigation. When this proves successful Shoestring is egged on by the station's receptionist, Sonia, to become a private investigator. He is given a radio show by the station's owner, Don Satchley (Michael Medwin) and invites listeners to phone in with their problems, thereby becoming, not so much a private eye - but a 'private ear.' 

This quirky detective series was developed and produced by Robert Banks Stewart in collaboration with Richard Harris, former script editor on another private eye series, Hazell. Trevor Eve had enjoyed a succesful stage run as Paul McCartney in the West End production of Willy Russell's John, Paul, George, Ringo...and Bert but was unknown to television viewers to this point. He became an overnight hit and the series was a huge ratings success. Viewers loved Shoestring's quirkiness as he pursued criminals whilst dealing with his own inner demons. Worried about being typecast, Eve only did two series. Stewart devised Bergerac as a replacement. Radio West didn't die, though. A real-life broadcaster bought up the name in order to serve the Bristol area.

Published on January 29th, 2019. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.