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2009 TV Preview: 'Hustle' is back

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Almost two years later, the con is back on.

The Hustle gang return for a much-anticipated fifth series in the New Year - and Mickey Bricks (Adrian Lester) is firmly back in charge. Creator Tony Jordan lets us in on what else the new series has in store.

How did the new series come about?
"When Adrian Lester left at the end of series three, there was something really interesting to me about doing a series with Danny Blue (Marc Warren) in charge. Danny had been knocking on the door for the first few series, wanting to be the boss, so I thought it was quite exciting to see what kind of job Danny would make as leader of the crew. In that series we did Hollywood, with Robert Wagner, then for the finale we did Las Vegas. Then I kind of felt that was it and I'd done everything I wanted to do. So it just kind of went away and I moved on to other things. Then I was in conversation with Adrian Lester, who suggested he might come back, so that suddenly sparked my interest again."

What has Mickey been up to in the intervening period?
"In the last series it was explained that he was in Australia, selling the Sydney Opera House. We see a bit of that in the first episode of the new series. Then he comes back from Australia to find that his crew no longer exists. So it's a little bit like the first episode ever, with Mickey assembling his team again."

Which other characters are coming back and do we have new ones?
"Ash is back, Albert is back and Eddie is back, but there's no Danny and Jaime Murray is off Dexter-ing, so we lost Stacie too. Of course, we've got new characters - and that's part of the surprise of the first episode. There are lots of twists and turns in the first episode!"

What sort of cons do the gang have this year?
"We're kind of lucky in a way I suppose, in that right slap bang in the middle of the [writing] process we started hitting the recession and credit crunch. It would have been silly of us not to use this world, so Mickey comes back to a very different London to the one he left. He left with everyone on a high, house prices spiralling and everybody having a ball, but now it's doom and gloom and even the banks are going bust. We've got some great cons too. For the first time ever, I've used the same mark in more than one episode. Early on in the series we see a mark and then later on in the series he comes back for his revenge. That's quite cool!"

Earlier this year Jaime Murray told me you were working on Hustle: The Movie. How's that coming along?
"I have written a Hustle movie. It's quite a difficult thing to do - how do you make it more than an extended episode of Hustle? How do you please the Hustle audience but also make it accessible to people who've never seen the show before? It's quite a tricky thing. So yes it is a live project and I have written a couple of drafts, but I'm still fighting with it. I'm just about to do another draft. I think it will happen."

It's intended for the big screen?
"Yeah, and that's what makes it difficult. If it was just a TV film, obviously that would be a much easier proposition - I'd just do a 90-minute version of Hustle! For the big screen there are so many other things to take into consideration. Do you do it carrying on from the last series? Do I do it with the new crew or old crew? Do I recast? There are a lot of questions we're fighting our way through to come up with the best version. It's work-in-progress."

Up next on Tube Talk's 2009 TV Preview: Series two of Ashes To Ashes

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