7 Reasons Gene Hunt Is The Man

He’s rude, crude and about as politically correct as a Neanderthal with man flu, but let’s face it: Gene Hunt is a legend. Here’s why.

Gene Hunt

1. HE'S A MAN OF HONOUR

Gene Hunt is a bigot. We admit this. The man has views so old-fashioned, you'd need a paleontologist to make sense of them. But that's only because he's a product of his time: a living, breathing, swaggering embodiment of the 1970s, when people hadn't yet realised we should all be nice to each other. But behind that snarling bravado, Gene's a properly decent geezer: a man with a fierce sense of right and wrong, who'll protect the vulnerable and slap the stuffing out of bad guys. He's like a modern-day knight, only without the shining armour. And speaking of clothes...

2. HE HAS THE BEST COAT, EVER

Oh come on, that mustard-coloured camel-hair is the business, and don't try to deny it. Yes, it's utterly unsubtle and uncool by today's standards, and is the kind of coat you'd see wrapped around a boxing promoter, but the very fact that Gene makes it work is testament to the man's charisma. Just don't be tempted to copy the look yourself.

Philip Glenister as Gene Hunt and John Simm as Sam Tyler.

Philip Glenister as Gene Hunt and John Simm as Sam Tyler.

3. HE KNOWS HOW TO RUN HIS GAFF

There's nothing worse than a weak boss, especially when it comes to policing. No, you want someone in charge who is... in CHARGE. Take a bow, Gene Hunt, who doesn't take any nonsense from anyone. When Sam Tyler first arrives at headquarters, all angry and confused and fresh from the 21st Century, Gene puts him in his place with a) his fist and b) a warm verbal welcome. "Don't ever waltz into my kingdom, acting king of the jungle." That's him told, then.

4. HE ISN'T SOPPY ABOUT KIDS

Children. It's fair to say Gene Hunt doesn't fawn or swoon over the little darlings like we do these days. Take the time he parks his car in a residential street, then goes over to some nearby street kids and addresses them thus: "Anything happens to this motor and I'll come over all your houses and stamp on all your toys, got it?" If the policing thing doesn't work out, he'd have an excellent future as a supply teacher.

5. HE REVERES BEER O'CLOCK

Gene is fiercely devoted to catching villains, but he's equally devoted to chilling out and having a laugh. He's not like other the jobsworth, box-ticking bosses out there. In Gene's world, if it's beer o'clock, it's beer o'clock, and nothing - no murderer, no thief, no bolshy little prat with a knife - is going to get between his team and their well-earnt pints.

The cast of Life on Mars.

The cast of Life on Mars.

6 HE'S GOT THE BEST NICKNAME

Is there's anything more annoying or pathetic than someone who actually refers to themselves by their own nickname? Arguably not, which makes it all the more incredible that Gene Hunt gets away with calling himself the "Gene Jenie". This is partly because it's a clever spin on the David Bowie song, and partly because he's right. He IS the Gene Jenie. We're not quite sure what that is, admittedly, but he is it.

7. HE DOESN'T HOLD A GRUDGE

What does Gene Hunt do when his mates let him down, or other people in the force try to nick him for something he hasn't done? Well, he doesn't sit around moping about it. Nor does he hold a big ugly grudge like a stroppy child. Nope, he shrugs and gets on with things, after inviting everyone out to get sloshed. As the man himself puts it, "I intend to drink the equivalent of the North Sea in whisky tonight, so raid your piggy banks." Well said, Gene. Well said.