Five searches for Arthur Daley magic with Minder remake

LONDON - Five has commissioned a remake of the iconic 1980s drama series 'Minder' from Talkback Thames, with former 'Eastender' Shane Richie starring as Arthur Daley's nephew Archie.

The original series starred George Cole as London conman Arthur Daley, Dennis Waterman as his hired minder, and former boxer Terry McCann. Cole played Daley from the beginning to the end of its 108-episode run from 1979 to 1994.

The remake will again be set in the capital, but with modern-day surroundings such as the Gherkin, the London Eye, the tower blocks of Walworth and the markets of Borough and Bermondsey. The series will consist of six hour-long parts.

Archie Daley's side kick Jamie will be played by Lex Shrapnel, who has had a varied film, theatre and TV career, including roles in 'The Last Detective' and 'Sharpe's Challenge'.

The executive producers are Jonathan Young for Talkback Thames and Susie Conklin for Five. The directors are David Innes Edwards and Karl Neilson. The producer is Sean O'Connor and the writer is Tim Loane, who has written for the hit TV series 'Teachers'.

Young said: "'Minder' is one of the British comedy drama greats. We're working with really strong writing and directorial talent to capture the wit and sentiment of the original series, while exploring the strong bond between the two leads."

The series will join a growing number of remakes of classic shows. The US has seen the return of 'Battlestar Galactica', transformed from camp to gritty and dark, and the short-lived remake of the 'Bionic Woman' starring another former 'Eastender' Michelle Ryan.

There have been movie outtings for 'Starsky and Hutch' and 'Miami Vice'.

Soon to be joining this throng of remakes will be classic 1970s US police series 'The Streets of San Francisco', which gave Michael Douglas his big break as Inspector Steve Keller.

The show is set to be remade as modern-day series by CBS. According to Hollywood Reporter, the script is being penned by 'The Longest Yard' writer Sheldon Turner, and 'Numbers' producer Robert Port; Simon West is also on board to direct the potential pilot.