Boon

Starring...

MICHAEL ELPHICK

with

David Daker

and

Neil Morrissey



“He’s a bit of a rough diamond but his heart’s in the right place.”











Michael Elphick, 1946–2002

Michael Elphick died in hospital on 7 September 2002 after collapsing at his home in Willesden Green, North London, where he lived with his daughter, Kate. His mother, Joan, who still lives in Chichester where Michael grew up, described him as “very quiet and very kind ... a very nice person”.





“Boon” was a light-hearted drama centred around two middle-aged ex-firemen, Ken Boon and Harry Crawford, who were starting out in business together, initially in Birmingham and later in Nottingham, after leaving the fire brigade. During the seven series (1986–1992), Ken worked his way up from odd-job man to private investigator while Harry ran two hotels, a ballroom, a country club and finally a security firm. Over the years they were assisted by Doreen Evans, Rocky Cassidy, Debbie Yates, Margaret Daly, Laura Marsh and Alex Wilton.

The series was created by Jim Hill and Bill Stair who wrote several episodes in the first series. Later, individual episodes were written by various writers such as: Geoff McQueen, creator of “The Bill” and “Stay Lucky”; Anthony Minghella, who has since written the screenplays for several episodes of “Inspector Morse” as well as for the film “Truly, Madly, Deeply”; and Kieran Prendiville, former presenter of “Tomorrow’s World” and creator of the BBC dramas “Roughnecks” and “Ballykissangel”.

Seven series, each of thirteen episodes, were made by Central Television between 1986 and 1992. Series 1–3 were set in Birmingham and Series 4–7 were set in Nottingham. A Christmas episode, “The Night Before Christmas”, was shown after Series 6 and was dedicated to Bill Stair who died in 1991. An additional one-off episode, “Thieves Like Us”, was made in 1993 and first shown in 1995, three years after the end of Series 7.

The personalities of Ken and Harry were soon established. Ken was a rough but romantic biker who was devoted to his red and silver BSA A65L Lightning motorbike, ‘White Lightning’, read Raymond Chandler detective stories and day-dreamed about being a modern-day Lone Ranger. Harry was a rather pompous and yet strangely nave man who was always planning yet another money-making business venture which required him to ingratiate himself with the Masons or the local Golf Club. Harry was recently divorced; Ken had never married but in the past had been involved in his fair share of relationships which had never lasted.

It was not unknown for Ken to be employed by a client to watch a suspect, but to end up sympathising with the suspect especially if she was a vulnerable and attractive woman!

Judging by the number of times that Harry and Ken waived their fees or never collected them because their client went off without paying, it is a wonder that CBS ever remained solvent!

In several episodes, such as “Daddy’s Girl”, “Help Me Make It Through The Night” and “Whispering Grass”, brief glimpses of maps were shown. These were identifiable excerpts of real Ordnance Survey maps, with some place-names changed and specific details, such as roads or railway lines, added or removed.

The title song, “Hi Ho Silver” by Jim Diamond, reached number 5 in the Charts in 1986. Jim originally wrote it in 1985 as a tribute to his father who had recently died and who, like Ken and Harry, had been a fireman.



Series Information

Series

Year

Location

Producer

1

1986

Grand Hotel / Pondorosa

Kenny McBain

2

1987

The Coaching Inn / Texas Rangers

Esta Charkham

3

1988

The Plaza Suite / Boon-Daly Investigations

Esta Charkham

4

1989

Woodcote Park / Boon Investigations

Michele Buck

5

1990

Crawford-Boon Security

Simon Lewis

6

1991

Crawford-Boon Security

Simon Lewis

7

1992

Crawford-Boon Security

Michele Buck



Credits

Executive Producer

Ted Childs (Series 1–2 and 4–7)
William Smethurst (Series 3)

Title Song

Jim Diamond

Incidental Music

Barrington Pheloung (Series 1)
Dean Friedman (Series 2-7)






MENU




CDs, DVDs and Books

  • CD: Music From Boon, Dean Friedman, June 2003 – available directly from Dean Friedman


  • DVD: Boon, Series 1: 4 DVDs, 13 episodes – available from Amazon, Play.com and other outlets


  • DVD: Boon, Series 2: 4 DVDs, 13 episodes – available from Amazon, Play.com and other outlets


  • DVD: Boon, Series 3: 4 DVDs, 13 episodes – available from Amazon, Play.com and other outlets


  • DVD: Boon, Series 4: 4 DVDs, 13 episodes – available from Amazon, Play.com and other outlets


  • DVD: Boon, Series 5: 4 DVDs, 13 episodes – available from Amazon, Play.com and other outlets


  • DVD: Boon, Series 6: 4 DVDs, 14 episodes – available from Amazon, Play.com and other outlets


  • DVD: Boon, Series 7: 4 DVDs, 14 episodes – available from Amazon, Play.com and other outlets


  • Book: Boon, Anthony Masters, Sphere, 1986, ISBN 0-7221-4829-1 – based on a composite of several Series 1 episodes




Title Sequence


Click the photo to see one of the many ‘BOON’ title sequences




Jim Diamond – Title Music


The Official Blue Shoes Website (find out more about ‘Hi Ho Silver’ man Jim Diamond)




Dean Friedman – Incidental Music


The Official Dean Friedman Website




Spin-Offs



  • During the filming of Series 3 of Boon, Michael Elphick, Neil Morrissey, Amanda Noar and David Daker made a rather gory but extremely funny spoof horror film called “I Bought A Vampire Motorcycle”. There are many links between the locations, cast and crew used in “I Bought A Vampire Motorcycle” and Series 3 of “Boon”.

  • Michael Elphick appeared as Ken Boon in a promotional video for Nationwide Investigations Group, “the largest firm of private detectives in the UK”.




‘The Heist’ – BBC Children In Need 1990

Gary Leeke describes the BBC “Children In Need event that was held on Friday, November 23rd 1990 in Nottingham. The cast of “Boon” were present to investigate the theft of “Children In Need” funds and to apprehend the “thief”. And Gary (lucky bugger) managed to sneak a kiss with Elizabeth Carling...




The Return Of The Lone Ranger – Interview with Michael Elphick


An exclusive interview with Michael Elphick conducted by Gary Leeke on Saturday 19 June 1999 at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham. Whilst visiting Nottingham as star of the successful touring theatre production ‘Loot’, Michael Elphick kindly took time to participate in an exclusive interview for the Boon site. It’s been seven years since Michael hung up his crash helmet but, like his character, he remains just as warm, friendly and approachable as ever...




Multimedia Man – Interview with Dean Friedman



Amongst his numerous accomplishments, Dean Friedman provided the majority of the incidental music for Series 2-7 of Boon. Gary Leeke spoke to him on 1 July 1999 about his long-standing association with the programme.

Dean Friedman has now (June 2003) released a CD of the songs and incidental music from Boon.





“Hi Ho Silver” – Its Origin


Central TV commissioned Jim Diamond to write and record the title song for “Boon” in 1985 and showed him the first script so he could produce something with the right feel to it, leaving the exact choice to Jim. The script was headed “Ken Boon: Fireman”. By coincidence, Jim’s father had been a fireman and, like Ken Boon, enjoyed cowboy and country-and-western music. Although Jim wrote and recorded “Hi Ho Silver” for use in “Boon”, he wrote it in memory of his father. Thanks to Alan Williams who sent me this piece of information.


HI HO SILVER

Sometimes I sit yeah! Feeling alone
No one to talk to I got no telephone
And at night I wake up I just lie and stare
Come on and save me from this nightmare

Hi ho Silver! Here come the Lone Ranger
He’s riding on down, to rescue me
Hi ho Silver! Here come the Lone Ranger
He’s riding on down
To rescue me....

(Jim Diamond)

For complete lyrics, e-mail Alan Williams




Acknowledgments


I’d like to thank Gary Leeke (Nottingham locations), Martyn Cadogan (guest stars) and Alan Williams (publicity photos, site design) for the information that they’ve supplied for this site. Gary has also spent many hours noting down locations and then visiting them to confirm their identity and current ownership, and he’s also responsible for the interviews with Michael Elphick and Dean Friedman for the site.




Mailing Lists


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Contacts and site construction


Martin Underwood

(Site Author)


Alan Williams

(Additional information / Site design)


Gary Leeke

(Nottingham locations and publicity photos)


Martyn Cadogan

(Birmingham locations)