Big Breadwinner Hog

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Big Breadwinner Hog
Created by Robin Chapman
Starring Peter Egan
Timothy West
Donald Burton
Rosemary McHale
Country of origin United Kingdom
Production
Running time 50 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel ITV
Original run 11 April 1969 (1969-04-11) – 30 May 1969 (1969-05-30)

Big Breadwinner Hog is a British television thriller serial devised by Robin Chapman, produced by Granada TV and transmitted in eight parts, starting at 9.00pm on 11 April 1969 on the ITV network. It portrayed the ruthless rise through the criminal underworld of the trendy young London gangster Hogarth (Peter Egan). He exploits the resources of a declining gangster, Ryan (Godfrey Quigley), to take over the dominant crime syndicate Scot-Yanks, controlled by the equally ruthless and manipulative Lennox (Timothy West). The key to Hogarth's success is knowledge of a murder arranged by Lennox, of which there is a crucial witness, Ackerman (Donald Burton), a one-time private eye who has been blackmailed into working for Scot-Yanks, and bitterly resents Lennox as a consequence.

The eight-part serial was widely condemned at the time for its amorality and violence. Its first episode featured a scene in which a jar of hydrochloric acid was thrown into a rival's face. "Barely minutes after the first episode was transmitted, the Granada TV switchboard was inundated" with viewers' complaints about the violence and the second episode was preceded by a Granada apology for the previous week's episode.[1] Granada toned down some of the more violent aspects of later episodes[1] but, despite this, viewer complaints continued and, from episode 5 onwards, some ITV regions moved transmission to a later timeslot; two ITV regions stopped transmission of the serial completely.

The serial was directed by Mike Newell (later of Four Weddings and a Funeral) and Michael Apted. It gave an early role to John Challis, later Boycie of Only Fools And Horses, and an important role for Priscilla Morgan, wife of Dad's Army star Clive Dunn. Peter Egan is also better known these days for sitcoms like Ever Decreasing Circles (1984–89), Joint Account (1989) and Home Again (2006)

Cast[edit]

DVD release[edit]

The series was released on Region 2 DVD in a box set with Spindoe by Network DVD in June 2007 [1]. The series is presented on the DVD from the original videotapes, except episode one (containing the infamous adid-throwing scene) which only exists via a telerecorded film copy, where the image quality is noticebly worse than other episodes.

Disk 3 (the 3rd "Hog" disk) contains an episode of the 1972 LWT series, "Villians", a serial as seen from the bank robbers point of view. The included episode focuses on womanising safe-cracker Charles Grindley as played by Bob Hoskins.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b The ITV Encyclopaedia of Adventure, page 87, pub 1988 by Boxtree Ltd for TV Times Publications

External links[edit]