Last updated : 7th June 2004
When the production team decided to recruit an extra, semi-regular character for the 1980 episodes, actor Steve Alder was hired by casting director Esta Charkham to portray agent Murphy (we never learned his first name!)...
Tall, dark and handsome – a rival to Bodie for the female fans' affections? (You tell me!) Murphy was ostensibly introduced (in the episode 'Blackout') in an attempt to broaden out the CI5 squad, though some fans have postulated that he was brought in as a potential replacement for Martin Shaw!...
Amongst e-mail correspondance with Esta, she happened to volunteer the following:
"Steve Alder was hired because they asked me to find someone extremely good looking to keep Martin and Lewis on their toes. I don't think he was ever intended as a takeover."
Although Steve appeared in eight episodes, his role often comprised of just occasional lines of dialogue. It would seem the production team and/or LWT weren't fully committed/confident about offering a direct alternative to Lewis or Martin anyway! Indeed, although consideration was given to dropping Martin Shaw from the series, Brian Clemens said that Steve would not have replaced him - rather Mark 1 would have opted for a better-known actor.
Steve's best opportunities came in 'Foxhole on the Roof' where Murphy and Bodie climbed a Chambers Wharf factory chimney and 'The Ojuka Situation' when Bodie and Doyle go missing and Murphy is assigned to find them.
Whether the original intention was to retain Steve for the 1981 episodes is not clear but by the time they went into production Steve had been cast alongside actress Lorraine Chase in the sitcom The Other 'Arf.
Born in 1950, he attended Goodal Secondary School in Leyton, East London. During the late 1960's or early 70s he apparently lived with (or may have actually been married to) model/actress Ayshea Brough who starred in Gerry Anderson's UFO.
In 1979 Steve played the lead in a four-part serial for the BBC entitled Kiss the Girls and Make them Cry - see below for a review of this programme. It is somewhat surprising that this did not lead to further high-profile roles.
After The Professionals came the lame 1985 sit-com Constant Hot Water and other work mainly consisted of minor supporting roles in various dramas.
According to one press clipping he auditioned for the role of James Bond at some stage. A few theatrical appearances during the 1970's and 80's are known about but, again, info is very scant indeed. He played in 'Grease', 'Hair' and 'Jesus Christ Superstar' at various times.
Tragically Steve passed away at the age of 47 on or around 7th March 1997 due to intestinal haemorrhaging.
Many thanks to Esta Charkham, Niki Walton, Mick Dempsey, Peter Caplen and others for info!
All films and shows made in the United Kingdom
|Year||Film or TV Show title and country||Character||Comments|
|1979||Kiss the Girls and Make Them Cry||Georgie||A four-part (two hours total) mini-series filmed as part of a the BBCs "Love Story" season. David Williams recently came across this in his old VHS collection and very kindly sent in these details and review.
"Written by Mike Newling, Directed by Richard Stroud, Music and lyrics by Richard Thompson.
The song "Georgie on a Spree" is heard throughout the episodes. A catchy 60's type theme which was later issued as a single.
Other cast: Sue Vanner, Stuart Fox and Alan Foss
SYNOPSIS- Georgie ( Steve Alder ) lives in a small Dorset village and a real romeo with the local girls - they are all smitten by his obvious charms. He enjoys using them and they all come running. However things change when he meets shy, beautiful Wendy. He pursues her and eventually she falls for him and becomes pregnant. A reluctant Georgie is almost forced to marry her by her overpowering family but it all remains a game to Georgie. However once married he finds himself falling for Wendy. As Georgie falls more and more in love he changes and his new personality bores Wendy. She runs off with Georgie's best friend. Now the boot is on the other foot and Georgie finds out how it is to lose out in love.
Steve Alder is a delight in this show: he dominates virtually every scene playing his Jack-the-Lad character to perfection. A particular treat is his continual asides to the camera as he chats to us- quite original for tv in the 70's! He advises us on his general observations and how the plot thickens. He is totally belivable as Georgie and, although he deserves his fate, you cannot help but feel sorry for him."
|1981||The Other 'Arf (TV sitcom)||Brian Sweeney||Hardly remember anything about this. Don't think it was particularly funny, to be honest.|
|1982||Another Flip for Dominick||Duncan||This was the sequel to the cult TV sci-fi drama 'The Flipside of Dominick Hide' which starred Peter Firth as a time-traveller from the future arriving in 1980 London in search of his ancestors. In 'Another Flip' Steve played a rock star. (Many thanks to Nick Stewart).|
|1982||Minder episode 'Rembrandt Doesn't Live Here Anymore' (TV comedy-drama)||?||Pretty minor role as an ex-con - in fact he doesn't appear until the end of the story.|
|1982||Scrubbers (Film)||Terry||Film about a young women's prison - basically a female version of the controversial 1979 film Scum... but more violent!|
|1984||The Gentle Touch episode ''The Conference' (TV police drama)||Tanner||With Jill Gascoine as the lead. More action-based and gritty than the Beeb's rival Juliet Bravo, IIRC. Quite popular in its day.|
|1985||Constant Hot Water (TV sitcom)||Frank Osborne||A lame show that was lucky to last its six episodes!|
|1989||Only Fools and Horses Chistmas special episode 'The Jolly Boys' Outing' (TV sitcom)||Eddie Chambers||Massively popular, long-running comedy with David Jason.|
|1991||Spender episode 'The Homecoming' (TV detective drama)||Tony Fowler||Steve appeared in series' opening episode as a villain, albeit it in a minor role. Unfortunately his surname in the ends credits is misspelled as Adler.|
|1991||The Upper Hand episode 'When Worlds Collide' (sitcom)||Eddie Sullivan||The Upper Hand was a British version of the US series She's the Boss – indeed most of its scripts came directly from the American shows, with Anglocisation where necessary. The Brit version, which substituted Joe McGann for Tony Danza, ran for several seasons and proved quite popular, being placed in a primetime slot, unlike its US ancestor. Professionals/Avengers links continue as Diana Weston (Ruth from 1978 season) played the "boss" with Honor Blackman as her sparky mother. Indeed HB's portrayal was easily the highlight of an otherwise dull series, though she was fortunate to be given most of the best lines, too. (Many thanks to John S Blyth)|
|1993(?)||The Bill unknown episode (TV police drama)||Trevor Jackson||Small part in a single episode of this long-running series.|