Big Breadwinner Hog

infobox television
show_name = Big Breadwinner Hog
format = Gangsters
runtime = 50 minutes
creator = Robin Chapman
starring = Peter Egan
Timothy West
Donald Burton
Rosemary McHale
country = UK
production company = Granada TV
network = ITV
first_aired = April 11, 1969
last_aired = May 30, 1969
imdb_id = 0063870

"Big Breadwinner Hog" was a British television thriller serial devised by Robin Chapman, produced by Granada TV and transmitted at 9.00pm Friday nights 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. [The ITV Encyclopaedia of Adventure, page 87, pub 1988 by Boxtree Ltd for TV Times Publications] Granada toned down some of the more violent aspects of later episodes [The ITV Encyclopaedia of Adventure, page 87, pub 1988 by Boxtree Ltd for TV Times Publications] but, despite this, viewer complaints continued and, after episode 5, some ITV regions moved transmission to a later timeslot; other 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)


*Hogarth — Peter Egan
*Edge — Rosemary McHale
*Ryan — Godfrey Quigley
*Spicer — Barry Linehan
*Singleton — Tony Steedman
*Lennox — Timothy West
*Gould — Hamilton Dyce
*Moira — Priscilla Morgan
*Ackerman — Donald Burton
*Greenwood — Brian McDermott
*Izzard — Alan Browning
*Grange — David Leland
*Raymond — James Hunter
*Nicholson — Tenniel Evans
*Walker — Arthur Pentelow
*Parker — John Horsley
*Rasbery — Peter Thomas
*Operative — John Challis

DVD Release

The series was released on Region 2 DVD in a box set with "Spindoe" by Network DVD in June 2007 [] .


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