David Parkin on the obsession with bent coppers

AM I the only person in Britain not waiting on tenterhooks for the final part of Line of Duty on Sunday evening?

Well, if you watch or listen to the BBC you’d think so.

There is no question that the TV drama about police corruption investigators and organised crime, sorry, AC-12 and OCGs, has become one of the most popular shows on TV since it first appeared back in 2012.

The sixth series culminates on Sunday night and the BBC is not missing an opportunity to plug the show.

I’ve got no problem with that, it is nice to see a diamond amongst the dross.

And when I say dross, can I refer you to the nightly schmooze fest that is The One Show or recent Saturday night effort I Can See Your Voice, which a toddler would find an insult to their intelligence.

Line of Duty is well made and pretty well written and acted.

But has it run its course?

I have no idea whether this latest series is the last one, but surely you can only take the search for a mystery corrupt senior police officer known as ‘H’ so far?

I rewatched a couple of episodes of HBO’s gangster drama The Sopranos this week and marvelled at its multi-layered, character-based approach.

The creators and writers knew when it had run its course and brought it to an elegiac ending in which some loose ends were beautifully tied up and others left trailing in the wind.

Contrast that to Game of Thrones which spent six series building up to a final season in which each episode felt like the writers had pressed fast-forward to bring it to its inevitable denouement.

In the age of Netflix and bingeing on box sets, one thing I think really works is the BBC broadcasting Line of Duty episodes every week.

It has sparked interest and created a momentum that downloading a whole series just can’t do.

I see Sky Atlantic has taken that approach with its latest big budget crime drama, Mare of Easttown, starring Kate Winslet.

I challenge you to watch an episode and not want to immediately view another.

Despite everything I said about Line of Duty, I, like 15 million other viewers, will sit down on Sunday night to watch the final episode.

Ok, I haven’t been trawling fan sites or swapping theories about H’s identity on social media.

What do you think I am, a Chis?

No, I said…

Forget it.

:::

IT was great to catch up with Edward Ziff this week, the chief executive of stock market quoted property business Town Centre Securities.

Conversation covered plenty of topics, from business and economic prospects to Edward’s role as chair of the board of trustees at Leeds Hospitals Charity to the fortunes of Leeds United.

As I sat in his office high above the Merrion Centre, I could see the Yorkshire Air Ambulance landing on the roof of a hospital building across the city centre and traffic queued on the roads below.

It was easy to think that some sort of normality is returning to life after the most extraordinary of years.

Let’s hope so.

:::

WHEN I arrived at Town Centre Securities this week, I walked out of the lift and was greeted by Edward Ziff’s warm and welcoming personal assistant Julie.

He was just finishing a phone call so I chatted to Julie as I took a seat in the reception area.

“You were at the Whitehall Bar & Grill last Friday afternoon weren’t you?” she said.

My mind quickly rewound several days and my immediate thought was whether I was seen before or after I polished off four negronis while taking part in what I thought was a deep, intellectual conversation but what in reality was probably macho camaraderie following a workout at John C Higo’s Leeds boxing gym.

Or whether it was when I was engaging in banter with cigar-smoking accountant and Kenny Rogers look-alike David Richmond on a neighbouring table.

Actually, I’m not sure it could be called banter. I told David’s fellow diners he was renowned as a doppelgänger for the late country singer.

No dear, doppelgänger.

One of David’s table companions was property lawyer Simon Mydlowski,who is a burly man and so I’m not going to suggest he looks like anyone other than himself.

The third occupant of the table digested my comments about David Richmond, puffed on his cigar and told me he was often mistaken for Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood.

Well, he had a grey goatee and a square head.

Anyway, with those memories bouncing around my head, you can imagine my concerns about what time I was clocked in the Whitehall, which is run by husband and wife team Fatjon and Lauren Muca and has become a popular haunt of the Leeds business community.

Fortunately Julie said she arrived at the Leeds restaurant around 4.30pm – which was just after I had finished a meal on the terrace but before I thought that consuming a quartet of Florentine cocktails was a good idea.

I said to Julie that I hoped that my table wasn’t too loud and fortunately she confirmed that we weren’t.

“The only reason I saw you is that my friend who I was with [also a PA to a prominent Leeds property entrepreneur] said that there was somebody famous on one of the other tables.

“I thought it might be someone from Emmerdale but when I looked around it was you.

“I said to my friend: ‘Oh no, that’s David Parkin’.”

What did Andy Warhol say about everyone getting 15 minutes of fame?

Mind lasted barely 30 seconds.

Oh well.

Have a great weekend.

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