New Tricks (2003–2015)
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A Face for Radio 

The UCOS team investigates the death 10 years ago of popular disc jockey Johnny Deacon who died in a fire when the radio station was set alight. The police knew it was arson, but were never... See full summary »


Martyn Friend


Lisa Holdsworth, Roy Mitchell (creator) | 1 more credit »


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Episode complete credited cast:
Alun Armstrong ... Brian Lane
Amanda Redman ... Det Supt Sandra Pullman
Dennis Waterman ... Gerry Standing
Anthony Calf ... D.A.C. Strickland
Susan Jameson Susan Jameson ... Esther Lane
Reece Shearsmith ... Jeremy Kirk
George Asprey ... Cameron Wyatt
Alison Egan Alison Egan ... Sharon Revie
Kellie Bright ... Sarah Madeley
Danny Webb ... Graham Madeley
Brigid Zengeni Brigid Zengeni ... Georgina Achebe
Gillian Raine Gillian Raine ... Harriet Longthorn
Martin Ball Martin Ball ... Voice of Johnny Deacon (voice)
James Bolam ... Jack Halford (voice)


The UCOS team investigates the death 10 years ago of popular disc jockey Johnny Deacon who died in a fire when the radio station was set alight. The police knew it was arson, but were never able to find enough evidence to charge anyone. Johnny was very opinionated on air and seemed to go out of his way to be offensive at time. He also had a number of female admirers, one of whom may have been stalking him. With Jack having virtually disappeared meanwhile, Sandra finds herself under pressure from DAC Strickland to start interviewing for his replacement. Despite their best efforts, Jack is nowhere to be found. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

21 July 2008 (UK) See more »

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Did You Know?


UKTV refuse to show this episode as there are several references to disgraced former DJ and TV personality Jimmy Saville. See more »


Johnny Deacon's gravestone shows that he died on 30 September 1998, but on the day of his death he says on his radio show that it is a year ago this week since Diana Princess of Wales died. In fact she died on 31 August 1997, thirteen months earlier. See more »


[first lines]
Jack Halford: [on answering machine] Please leave a message after the tone.
Brian Lane: Jack, it's Brian. Just haven't heard from you for a while. Well, since... Look, give me a call when you get a chance.
Det Supt Sandra Pullman: Hi, Jack, it's Sandra. Call me.
Gerry Standing: You all right, mate? It's Jerry. Look, I wondered if you fancied a pint some time this week. Uh, well, give us a shout if you do, eh.
Det Supt Sandra Pullman: OK, Jack, I know you're upset; I get that. But would it kill you to let us know you're all right? Jack, where are you?
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Walk like an Egyptian
Written by Liam Sternberg
Performed by The Bangles
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User Reviews

Death at the radio station
24 January 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Have always been a big fan of detective/mystery shows from a fairly young age, well since starting secondary school.

'Inspector Morse', 'A Touch of Frost', 'Midsomer Murders' (in its prime), 'Law and Order', 'Inspector George Gently', 'Criminal Minds', 'Murder She Wrote', you name them to name a few. 'New Tricks' has also been a favourite from the start (despite not being the same without the original cast in recent years). Although it can be corny at times (in an endearing sort of way) it has always been perfect for helping me relax in the evenings. Something that was needed during all the hard times endured in school.

Jack's absence is deeply felt and it's sad not to see him, but considering the circumstances and at least there was a reason given it makes sense. There is not much to criticise at all, it just isn't the same without Jack and there is yet another sloppy goof, this time related to the death of Princess Diana.

"A Face for Radio's" case though is absorbing and has enough to keep one guessing, nothing obvious here.

Visually, "A Face for Radio" is slick and stylish as ever. The music is a good fit and the theme song (sung with gusto by none other by Dennis Waterman himself) is one of the catchiest for any detective/mystery show and of any show in the past fifteen years or so.

Writing is intelligent, thought-provoking and classy, while also being very funny and high up in the entertainment value. This is all mixed adeptly with a seriousness without being overly so that it doesn't feel like 'New Tricks'. The story is fun, diverting and keeps one guessing.

A huge part of 'New Tricks' appeal is the chemistry between the four leads and their performances. The chemistry is so easy going and charming with a little tension.

One of the show's biggest delights is Alun Armstrong, achieves a perfect balance of funny comic timing and touching pathos which was maintained all the way up to his final episode. It is also lovely here to see his role in the team and skills appreciated more all the time.

The only woman on the team, Amanda Redman more than holds her own in what is essentially the boss role of the team. Dennis Waterman brings some nice levity without unbalancing things. Anthony Calf has settled in well and the supporting cast are all solid.

Overall, another great, if not quite classic, Season 5 episode. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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