1 9 7 8 (UK)
7 x 30 minute episodes
John Alderton declined to appear in a second series of The Upchat Line so Keith Waterhouse came up with a superb ruse to keep his fictional character alive . . .
At the start of the new series – first broadcast on ITV in October 1978 – it was revealed that the old ‘Mike’ had gone to Australia but before departing he had raffled the key to left-luggage locker number 685 at Marylebone station.
The winner inherited his prized cache of pseudonyms, his address book, all his library tickets, his second-best t-shirt and, to start proceedings, a blind date.
This brilliant concept thus ensured that all the remaining scripts could remain unaltered for, in a Doctor Who-style move, while the actor had gone the character remained the same.
Robin Nedwell duly took over the role, carrying on much as before.
The Torchbearer | Spring in Park Lane | Mystery Tour | The Homecoming | My Fair Lydy | A Game of Singles | Will the Real Mike Upchat . . .