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Telegraph / Tech - Game

The Professionals at 40: how Ford and British Leyland fought the forces of evil

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.


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...

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