Belfast Telegraph

Big mystery is solved as Morse tops TV crime poll

Britain’s best: John Thaw as Morse
Britain’s best: John Thaw as Morse

By Andrew Arthur

Inspector Morse has been voted the best British crime drama television series of all time by readers of listings magazine and website Radio Times.

The Oxford-set ITV series, which starred the late John Thaw as author Colin Dexter's real ale drinking detective, topped a list of 50 programmes.

Foyle's War finished in second place while the rest of the top five was made up of shows that are currently running.

The BBC's Line Of Duty -filmed in Northern Ireland - was third, Morse prequel series Endeavour finished in fourth and Bafta-winning Happy Valley was fifth.

Further down the list, A Touch Of Frost pipped Midsomer Murders to the final spot in the top 10.

Actor Kevin Whately starred alongside Thaw as Morse's sidekick Detective Sergeant Robert Lewis between 1987 and 2000. He later reprised the role for spin-off series Lewis, which placed 12th in the Radio Times poll.

In an interview with the Radio Times, Whately (67) said that he was astonished at the enduring popularity of Inspector Morse and the subsequent series it has inspired.

"I think what viewers love is the fact that Morse isn't your usual hero," he said.

"He's lonely, boozy, angry, but very bright. And he's a match for all these supercilious Oxford brains.

"It's amazing. Colin Dexter created a whole industry with Inspector Morse."

Belfast Telegraph


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