After Public Madness, Private Danger, the first edition of The Professionals, was aired on Friday, December 30 in 1977, British television would never be the same again. There was a pounding theme tune from Laurie Johnson, the butler from Upstairs, Downstairs driving a red Austin Princess “Wedge” and shouting “APB to all units!”, the CI5 agents Ray Doyle and William Bodie alternately scowling and smirking plus a master villain in a very down-at-heel Ford Cortina Mk3.
Here are ten memories to celebrate 40 years of the programme that, if nothing else, made the Ford Capri Mk3 3.0S a minor automotive icon:
The British Leyland cars
As is well known, The Professionals was made by Mark One Productions, whose previous show The New Avengers made extensive use of British Leyland press vehicles - John Steed’s yellow Rover 3500 SD1 went on to become official transport for CI5 boss George Cowley, played...