For the series of novels upon which the TV series is based, see Lovejoy (novel series). For other uses, see Lovejoy (disambiguation).

The main cast from the series (from left), Dudley Sutton, Ian McShane, Chris Jury and Phyllis Logan.
Genre Comedy-drama, mystery
Created by
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 6
No. of episodes 71 (list of episodes)
Running time 50 minutes
Production company(s) BBC
Tamariska Productions
WitzEnd Productions
Distributor Fremantle Media
Original network BBC One
Picture format 4:3
Original release 10 January 1986 (1986-01-10) – 4 December 1994 (1994-12-04)

Lovejoy is a British TV comedy-drama mystery series based on the picaresque novels by John Grant under the pen name Jonathan Gash. The show, which ran to 71 episodes over six series, was originally broadcast by the BBC between 10 January 1986 and 4 December 1994, although there was a five year gap between the first and second series. It was adapted for television by Ian La Frenais.

The series concerns the adventures of the eponymous Lovejoy, played by Ian McShane, a roguish antiques dealer based in East Anglia. Within the trade, he has a reputation as a "divvy", a person with almost unnatural powers for recognising exceptional items as well as distinguishing genuine antiques from fakes or forgeries.


Kate (Series One) played by Charlotte Edwards.
Vicky (Series Two and Three) played by Amelia Shankley
Viki (Series Six) played by Amelia Curtis

Broadcast history

The series was notable for its style and pacing. Lovejoy would frequently break the fourth wall, revealing his thoughts and motives by addressing the audience directly. The first series was shown on BBC1 in the first half of 1986. It concluded with a two-part special. Despite being a moderate ratings success, Lovejoy was not brought back until 1991. The original four cast members returned for the next two series between 1991 and 1992. With the start of the fourth series in 1993, Malcolm Tierney reprised his first series role as Charlie Gimbert.

During the fifth series, several cast changes were made. Phyllis Logan left the show in the second episode and Chris Jury departed in the sixth episode, although both characters returned for the sixth series finale. Two new regular characters were added: Lovejoy's new apprentice, Beth Taylor, and Charlotte Cavendish, who ran a local antiques auction house.

The sixth and final series of 10 episodes was aired between October and December 1994.

Two 90-minute Lovejoy Christmas specials were shown in 1992 and 1993.

The theme tune used in the opening and end credits, as well as the incidental music for each episode, was composed by Denis King.


The series was first aired in the United States on the A&E Network. It was marketed as The Lovejoy Mysteries on VHS in the U.S. The DVD release of the entire series has returned to title of Lovejoy.


  1. "Ian McShane: 'I don't even like antiques'". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. 9 October 2010. Retrieved 28 April 2012.

External links

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