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April 6, 2012 / Katy Green

The con is o… ruined!

I love Hustle. Without doubt my favourite British TV show. I got hooked part way through series 3 as it was being aired on BBC1, and I kept watching whilst simultaneously catching up on the previous 2 series. The whole concept of Hustle was like a breath of fresh air in to my old TV schedule which basically consisted of Eastenders, Friends and football matches. Tony Jordan and his team created such clever, complex and exciting cons. I always tried to figure them out before the end, and don’t think I was ever successful (I struggle to think outside the box). The characters were all likeable, witty and so ridiculously suave I think all viewers would admit to wanting to be a part of the crew themselves! In short, (as in the future I plan to do a review of all the series, and the ending in particular) I thought the last episode was perfect. The con itself wasn’t particularly special, but the return of Danny and Stacey and their part in completing the con was exactly what I think Hustle was all about at heart. Yes, it was about conning the greedy marks but the crew were a family and I think, looking back, it was always about this more.

Now, to the main subject of this post. As any finale of a TV series I like approaches, I avoid all related media and potential spoilers, so this meant I had no idea about Jaime Murray and Marc Warren reprising their roles of Stacey and Danny. I understand it was (half) common knowledge that Jaime would be returning as she has done interviews, however, being such a nerdy superfan I successfully avoided this knowledge. This was until, due to a prior commitment, I couldn’t watch the final episode at the time it was being aired! This meant I had to catch up on iplayer a few hours later, where to my horror, saw that BBC had chosen to use a screenshot of all of the crew, Stacey and Danny included, driving away in the car in what turned out to be the final scene! So there went the surprise. I enjoyed the finale immensely anyway, however, I can only wonder what it would have been like if I wasn’t continually expecting Stacey and Danny to appear. It got fairly near the end and Danny hadn’t appeared yet, so he was blatantly going to be the masked shooter. If I didn’t know he was going to be returning, I honestly don’t think I’d have known it was him until the mask was removed! Honestly! It would have been a brilliant surprise. Shame.

In my anger, and teenage impulsiveness, I immediately emailed the iplayer team and I thought you may want to see the reply:

Dear Miss Green

Thank you for contacting the BBC iPlayer Support Team.

I understand that you were unhappy with the screenshot accompanying the last episode of ‘Hustle’ on iPlayer, which gave portions of the plot away.

The image did reveal important plot information and shouldn’t have been chosen to promote this episode of Hustle. We apologise for spoiling your viewing experience. The picture has now been changed and your feedback will help us select images with greater care in the future.

I do understand you that you feel very strongly about this issue, so I’d like to assure you that I’ve fully registered your concerns. This will be included on feedback reports that are available to personnel responsible for maintaining and improving the BBC iPlayer service.

These reports are viewed as important documents that can help shape decisions on future aspects of BBC iPlayer.

Once again, thanks for taking the time to contact us.

Kind Regards

Mark Roberts

BBC Audience Services

So, no offer of meeting the cast or a cut of the profits, but I guess an apology will do.

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One Comment

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  1. sparks68 / Apr 7 2012 1:22 am

    I’d found out ahead of the final series starting that Marc Warren was returning, purely by accident as I’d heard he was in Birmingham while the cast & crew were filming some of the final episodes, but I was told that it was a big secret so I vowed not to reveal anything online – which I didn’t. In fact a video briefly appeared online, of what I now know to be the final scene as 7 characters leave the Eddie’s Bar set, and Kudos and the BBC quickly got it taken down. Therefore, I too was surprised that the image the BBC chose to promote the final episode kind of gave the game away and I believe the same image was also used in the Radio Times. They did allow the press to cover the return of Jaime Murray, but I think that was part of some clever diversion tactic to keep Danny’s appearance in the finale a secret. Shame it ruined the surprise for you and great work in making the BBC see sense over the image, even if there was no reward for your actions.

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