James Bolam quits New Tricks

The one-time Likely Lad departs BBC1's crime drama

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The New Tricks team is set to be one man down when the series returns in 2012 as James Bolam, who plays Jack Halford, has quit the long-running drama.

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The Daily Telegraph reports that the former Likely Lads star believes that the popular BBC1 series, which garners viewing figures of close to 10 million, has gone “stale”.

Despite Bolam’s agent confirming that the actor “is not doing another series of New Tricks”, producers are hoping to persuade him to return for a cameo appearance.

“We are very sorry to see him go, but fully understand that the time and commitment involved in filming are quite considerable,” says executive producer Richard Burrell. “We are in talks with James about him returning for one episode next year. We are very excited about the return of the rest of the cast.”

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The success of New Tricks depends very much on the chemistry between its stars, so will Amanda Redman, Dennis Waterman and Alun Armstrong manage to cope without him? Or does this news mark the beginning of the end for the UCOS squad? Comment below and let us know your thoughts.