The odd couple
Starring the late Mark McManus, Taggart was a tough and uncompromising DCI, policing the mean streets of Glasgow. His sidekick, Detective Sergeant Peter Livingstone (Neil Duncan) represented the new breed of police man – caring, empathetic, by-the-book – and this sometimes odd-couple relationship produced friction.
Originally broadcast in 1983, its backdrop is recession, where a working class city did its best to make ends meet when there was no money. But for Taggart that meant one thing and one thing only – rampant crime across the metropolis.
The write stuff
Taggart was first created in a meeting between commissioner Robert Love and writer Glenn Chandler in the unlikely surroundings of London’s Covent Garden.
Created at a time when there was no regular crime series on TV, Taggart went on to attract 18million viewers at its peak and was sold internationally in 80 countries. Britain’s favourite, gritty cop even had his own catchphrase: “There’ been a murrrrder.”
The show has also acted as a springboard for some of the country’s best acting talent. The likes of John Hannah, Robert Carlyle, Dougray Scott, Ashley Jensen and Alan Cumming all got their big breaks on the show. Taggart also gave Gail Porter and Jeni Falconer their first taste of showbusines – they were runners and extras on the show.