1 9 6 0 – 1 9 6 3 (UK)
52 x 50 minute episodes
In his trilby hat and belted mac, Maigret used to light his pipe and light up Monday nights.
The late Rupert Davies achieved celebrity status, and at the height of the 52 episodes, he was able to command £10, 000 to make a Dubonnet commercial.
When the French detective’s creator, Georges Simenon, first met Davies he was amazed at how like Maigret he was.
For a start, Davies himself was an inveterate pipe-smoker, possessing some 40 pipes and a dozen kinds of tobacco. Simenon’s only complaint was that Davies’s hair was too long.
On the subject of complaints, both Maigret and that other wastrel George Dixon were accused of drinking too much on-screen by the Reverend George Boffin from Cleckheaton, Yorkshire;
“Maigret drinks such a lot it’s surprising he doesn’t fall flat on his face in the middle of every programme. It amazes me he can stay sober enough to arrest anyone. And Dixon spends too much of his off-duty time in the local. I see no reason why Dixon and Maigret shouldn’t drink tea and ginger pop instead of pints of ale and bottles of wine”.
Can you imagine Jack Regan and George Carter from The Sweeney drinking ginger pop?