Hustle – the final con

Tonight is the final scam for Mickey Bricks and the gang. The familiar face of former team member Stacie Monroe – aka actress Jaime Murray – is back in the frame for what she calls ‘the biggest con they’ve ever done, the con to end all cons. It’s been five years since I was last on the show and within five minutes they were teasing me as if it was yesterday. They’ve known me since I was 24 and so treat me like a little kid, which I love! Matt Di Angelo is so funny and cheeky, he’s such a clown. He made me giggle the whole time and I told him he looks like a young Jude Law, which he loved!’ Since she left, Jaime has been Stateside in shows such as Dexter, Warehouse 13 and Ringer.

As for Adrian ‘Mickey Bricks’ Lester, he nominates his and Marc Warren’s naked dash across Trafalgar as his fave moment from the eight series. He says, ‘As Marc Warren said, how many people can say I’ve run through Trafalgar Square naked! And I did it eight times! It’s right up there with playing Hamlet. It could only work in a show like this because it was tongue in cheek, entertaining and silly but also poignant. It’s one of my favourite episodes because it had the perfect balance of character, disappointment, desire, jeopardy, fun, skill and clever plotting.

‘Another of my favourite sequences is where I had to do the magician’s trick of hiding the pound coin, in Episode 1 series 5. I reached to the floor with nothing in my hands and then made it appear in my palm. Then the pick-pocketing… knocking over the wine, going in for the wallet and removing the credit card with one hand, close and replace the wallet, pocket the credit card and then saying goodbye with the man’s car keys under my hat. Those sequences have been among my favourites.’

Will the gang go out in a shower of money, or a hail of bullets?

Hustle is on tonight on BBC1 at 9pm

Hustle series 8 PREVIEW

Smooth operators – the Hustle crew. Pics: BBC

Rating ★★★

BBC1 from Friday, 6 January, 9pm

Story: Mickey and the gang of con artists target a gold dealer who rips off elderly customers.

Only six more elaborate scams for Mickey Bricks and his flimflam operators before Hustle‘s loyal fans feel like the ones who’ve lost something they treasure when they weren’t looking. After seven years, writer Tony Jordan is calling time on the show.

There are treats in store in this last series, in particular the return of original cast member Jaime Murray as Stacie Monroe in the final episode for what was the actress calls ‘the con to end all cons’. Of the finale, Adrian Lester (Mickey) adds, ‘The opening 30 seconds of the last episode… it’s ace. You won’t forget it!’

Dodgy geezer – Paterson Joseph with Kelly Adams

Peterson Joseph as the mark
Not that episode one is too shabby. Paterson Joseph turns up as the target, Dexter Gold – real name, Ash reveals, is Dexter Pratt. This 24-carat villain gets by fencing gold stolen by armed gangs and by fiddling pensioners out of their precious golden mementoes.

So the team, eager as ever to bring down the corrupt and greedy, masquerade as a renegade army unit seeking to offload a hooky consignment of looted Libyan gold. A nice sub plot sees the gang barred from Eddie’s drinking establishment after one of them defaces his wall photo of hero Ian Rush. Cue cameo from the former Liverpool star himself…

It’s an episode that’s as slick and frothy as ever, the hallmark of Hustle being the way it resurrected that old spirit of entertaining and cool rogues not seen since Sixties classics such as Ocean’s Eleven, The Thomas Crown Affair and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Marc Warren and Trafalgar Square
It’s heyday was undoubtedly the Marc Warren era, when he played Danny Blue and there were classic episodes such as Danny losing to Stacie at strip poker in series one, and the second episode of series three when Danny and Mickey had to run naked through Trafalgar Square.

Even Adrian Lester cites the Trafalgar Square episode as a highlight. ‘As Marc Warren said, how many people can say I’ve run through Trafalgar Square naked!’ he says. ‘And I did it eight times! It’s right up there with playing Hamlet. It could only work in a show like this because it was tongue in cheek, entertaining and silly but also poignant.’

Tony Jordan has worked out some fun plots. The cons have been great, and the pros terrific – so good  to see Robert Vaughn again in such charming form. Enjoy it while you can, before Adrian Lester moves onto Othello at the National and Robert Vaughn turns up in Corrie. Talk about masters of disguise…

Cast: Adrian Lester Michael ‘Mickey Bricks’ Stone, Robert Glenister Ash ‘Three Socks’ Morgan, Robert Vaughn Albert Stroller, Kelly Adams Emma, Matt di Angelo Sea, Rob Jarvis Eddie, Paterson Joseph Dexter Gold

Follow @crimetimeprev

%d bloggers like this: