Episode: ‘Don’t Tell Them That Willie Boy Was Here’
This is the eighth in the series and the second so far to feature ‘Minder’. This Episode was the fourth in Series 2 and was first transmitted on 9th October 1980, Paul Barber plays Willie Reynolds, a boxer known as ‘The Mersey Mouth’ who retired as the unbeaten champion from the ring and moved to Jamaica. Having got into debt, he’s making a comeback against Jack Straw and worth £50,000 in order to pay off his debts. The opening scene shows him on a Chat Show trying to play up to his image by outdoing the host and chatting up another guest, Jackie Collins. Terry has to mind him and soon realises that not only has he lost his killer punch, he hasn’t looked after himself.
Terry goes jogging with him over Hampstead Heath and eventually asks Willie why he came back. He explains that he got hit with a 20 grand tax bill and…”I missed real ale, the missus missed shopping ‘Up West’ and the kids missed everything from Queen’s Park Rangers to conkers.” Alfred Marks plays his Manager, ‘Barney’ and it soon becomes clearer what he is really up to. As the fight beckons,Terry tells him some more home truths. He tries to shame him into training properly and his response includes the second R’s mention. “It costs money to live here, ‘specially with Ruth and the kids. It costs a small fortune to get to QPR and have a pint afterwards.” The fight doesn’t go to plan and from the brink of defeat, Willie knocks out Jack Straw much to the disgust (and cost) of both Managers.
Paul Barber is very well known for playing ‘Denzil’ in ‘Only Fools and Horses’ He also appeared as a gangster in the 70’s BBC Series, ‘Gangsters’, On the big screen, his credits include, ‘The Full Monty’ and ‘The Long Good Friday’. Tania Rogers plays ‘Ruth’ who by coincidence, also appeared in ‘Gangsters’, not in a principal role but in one episode as an exotic dancer. Alfred Marks appeared in numerous post-war productions and died in 1996.