Home Television Drama Spender


1 9 9 1 – 1 9 9 3 (UK)
22 x 55 minute episodes

This streetwise 90s police show from the BBC starred Geordie actor Jimmy Nail (who had previously played Oz in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet).


Episodes followed the undercover Detective Sergeant Freddie Spender (Nail) – transferred back to Newcastle by a Met unhappy with his impolitic attitude – through a drab Tynescape in search of crims from corrupt industrialists to drug traffickers, with the story powered along by a rock soundtrack reminiscent of US cop series Miami Vice.

Spender reconnected with his friends and criminal sidekick, ‘Stick’ (Sammy Johnson) – but also his estranged wife Frances (Denise Welch) and daughters (Dawn Winlow and Lynn Harrison) who lost contact with their husband/father due to his work and location.

In addition to playing the title role, Nail also co-created the show (with Ian La Frenais) and contributed screenplays.

DS Freddie Spender
Jimmy Nail
Kenneth Norman “Stick” Oakley
Sammy Johnson
Frances Spender
Denise Welch
DS Dan Boyd
Berwick Kaler
Laura Spender
Dawn Winlow
Kate Spender
Lynn Harrison
DCS Gillespie
Peter Guinness
Keith Moreland
Tony McAnaney
Supt Yelland
Paul Greenwood