Monday, 14 May 2007

The inevitable Sweeney post

Everyone knows that ITV's classic gritty cop show, The Sweeney, was centred around two characters called Carter and Regan, between them a mere one letter away from the 39th and 40th presidents of the USA respectively. The actor who played their boss, DCI Haskins, is called Garfield Morgan (James Garfield was the 20th president). The 19th president was Rutherford B. Hayes, and large parts of the show were filmed in and around Hayes, in West London. We're told in one episode that Regan's mother came from Cleveland (c.f. Grover Cleveland, 24th president).

The show's title is of course rhyming slang (for Flying Squad), and the characters often use it. For example, in the episode "Crane Flies", George Carter describes one petty vandal as being "a bit William Howard in the 'ead, guv", meaning "daft" (after William Howard Taft, 27th president). And several times, Regan refers to desk-bound police officers as being "herberts", a clear reference to Herbert Hoover (31st president), who was notoriously desk-bound after a horse-riding injury. And now the Greater Manchester police have an Assistant Chief Constable Vincent Sweeney, responsible for Territorial Policing. I can hardly Adam'n'Eve it, guv!

(Of course, if you add up all the numbers of the presidents listed above... well, I needn't spell it out.)

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