5 things you didn't know about 'The Persuaders!'

Many 40-something Classic Driver readers will undoubtedly remember spending hours looking on enviously as Roger Moore and Tony Curtis of 'The Persuaders!' lived their impossibly glamorous lives on the French Riviera. But here are five related facts that even the most ardent fan might not know...

A trip to Monaco

Nowadays, elaborate transport and maintenance arrangements are usually made for film cars. But in the case of the Persuaders' DBS, the names of several Aston Martin mechanics were simply thrown into a hat, and the person whose name was drawn out was rewarded with the task of delivering the car to the South of France and looking after it during filming. The chosen one was a man called Carl Seager - who spoke no French and had never previously been abroad. Regardless of that, he jumped into the DBS in Newport Pagnell and drove direct to the first location in Monaco. His signature remains in the car's handbook.

BS 1

The famous 'BS 1' number plate worn by the car in the series was, in reality, owned by the British circus impresario Billy Smart. The number remained in the Smart family until a few years ago, when it was sold for a reputed six-figure sum to a Bill Spence - who lives on Orkney and recently became the island's Lord Lieutenant.

A continuity oversight

Eagle eyed Persuaders fans might have noticed during the episode entitled 'The Gold Napoleon' that the DBS emerges from behind a lorry in one scene wearing its genuine 'PPP 6H' registration plates. The brief but glaring error was the result of a continuity oversight, during which the BS 1 plates - which were attached with 'quick release' wing nuts in a pre-Velcro age - were forgotten.

Tony Curtis washing his hands

Part of the charm of the Persuaders lay in the fact that Tony Curtis was apt to spice up the official script with a generous amount of ad-libbing. Likewise, it was his idea to adopt the affectation of wearing a pair of leather driving gloves in many scenes when he was not behind the wheel. In one episode, he is even seen washing his hands - with the gloves still in place.

A potential second series

A few years ago, the widow of Persuaders script writer Tony Williamson unearthed five un-realised storylines written for a potential second series of the show which was never made. The titles were A Long Weekend, A Shooting War, A Girl Could Get Killed, Rendezvous and Invitation to a Funeral.

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