Lovejoy remake being developed by Hustle creator Tony Jordan

The prolific TV writer is working on a potential reboot of the comedy-drama, which starred Ian McShane as a roguish antiques dealer

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Forget Bargain Hunt and Flog It!, a more dashing and debonair type of antiques hunter may soon be back on our screens, with the news that Lovejoy could be returning to TV.

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Tony Jordan, the man behind BBC1 hits including Hustle and Life on Mars, is developing a script featuring the roguish antiques dealer, who was first played by Ian McShane in the fondly remembered BBC series that ran between 1986 and 1994.

Jordan is using the original Lovejoy novels by Jonathan Gash as his source material which, with 24 books in total, could mean a potentially long-running series, should it take off.

A source tells RadioTimes.com that the project is “very early days” and is yet to find a broadcaster, but if it does go ahead it is likely to be a co-production with Jordan’s company Red Planet Pictures.

The original Lovejoy ran for six series on BBC1 and starred Phyllis Logan as McShane’s aristocratic love interest Lady Jane, Dudley Sutton as his sidekick Tinker and Chris Jury as his put-upon assistant Eric Catchpole.

In a 2013 interview with Radio Times, McShane said he was unlikely ever to return to the role that had made him a household name but suggested that any prospective remake could go in a different direction. “If you’re serious about it, why not make it about Lovejoy’s daughter this time?” he said.

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McShane’s former co-star Logan was more enthusiastic about the prospect of revisiting her role. The Downton Abbey actress told us she’d return to the show “in a heartbeat”, adding, “I loved it. It’s almost my favourite job ever. “