Original Taggart scripts were “murdur” says expert cop


By Michael MacLeod

A TOP cop who was asked to rate the first ever Taggart scripts has admitted he predicted the show would flop.

Strathclyde’s Detective Chief Inspector Les Brown was approached by STV bosses to cast an expert eye on the show’s pilot episodes in 1982.

Les, now retired, declared the scripts “a load of rubbish,” but was left red-faced when the series went on to become the longest-running police drama in British TV history.

Christmas Eve saw the gritty drama reach its 100th episode.

But Les, who was offered cash by STV for his expertise while heading murder investigations at Scotland’s biggest police force in the early 80s, confessed he never thought Taggart would last.

He said: “You could say I failed to detect a killer show.

“It was late 1982 when a member of the STV production team arrived at Strathclyde Police HQ for a meeting.

“He had scripts for a new TV drama about Glasgow cops and wanted an experienced murder detective to cast his eye over it.”

“We knew a thing or two about catching killers”

With 25 years of experience and 240 murder investigations under his belt, Les was given the original scripts of Killer – which was later renamed to Taggart – to read over the weekend.

He said: “We had a 95 per-cent clear-up rate so we knew a thing or two about catching killers.

“I said told them it was ‘a load of rubbish, it’ll never take off.’

“The rest is history.”

“Great relationship”

He said the original three-part drama was littered with policing inaccuracies, including cops booking into a hotel instead of setting up a cordon around the crime scene.

An STV spokesperson said: “The Taggart production team has always had a great relationship with Strathclyde Police, who have provided helpful advice and feedback on our scripts and storylines.

“We’re glad viewers didn’t share Les’s initial assessment of the scripts and we hope he’ll continue to be a fan of the show.”

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