Ashes to Ashes creator slams Philip Glenister over “Quattro” claim

Matthew Graham says he wrote Gene Hunt's most famous line

Ashes to Ashes star Philip Glenister has sparked a row with one of the show’s main writers, by claiming he authored Gene Hunt’s famous line: “Fire up the Quattro!”

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“The writers maintain ‘Fire up the Quattro’ was their idea, but it was mine,” says Glenister in today’s Radio Times magazine. “They will dispute it but – sorry guys – put it in print.”

They certainly have disputed it: before 8am today, the day the magazine went on sale, Ashes to Ashes co-creator Matthew Graham took to Twitter to slam Glenister’s claims. “In the Radio Times you will read that Phil created Fire Up The Quattro,” Graham angrily wrote. “He didn’t. Nor did ‘the writers’. It was me.”

He continued: “I have drafts of Ashes going back to before [Glenister] was even shown the script. Originally it was ‘fire up the Princess’. I sat down and deliberately coined a phrase that might rival [Life on Mars catchphrase] “armed bastards”. Phil didn’t LIKE the line. [He] wanted to drop it.”

Graham was particularly annoyed at Glenister’s use of the term “the writers”, feeling it denigrated the working relationship Glenister previously enjoyed with Graham and Life on Mars/Ashes to Ashes co-creator Ashley Pharoah: “Thanks Phil,” Graham said. “Thank you for that deluded ego trip. That sideways jibe. That public sneer… Thanks for reducing 5 years [of working together] by referring to Ash and I as ‘the writers’.”

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“I look forward to Phil’s next screenplay,” Graham concluded. “I hear it’s a thriller that some writer helped him with.”