It was 1979 when we first met Shoestring, the private eye turned radio presenter in the BBC TV series. Eddie Shoestring was played by Trevor Eve, whom I’d had previously seen in a stage musical about the Beatles, called John, Paul, George, Ringo and Bert. The songs were performed by Barbara Dickson, and a splendid time was indeed guaranteed for all.

Well, today, I watched the very first episode of Shoestring again. It was full of surprises.

First, I’d forgotten what it’s like watching Trevor Eve acting but not shouting. Waking the Dead? He certainly tried.

Second, one of the other characters was played by William Russell. Even after all these years, I recognised him as being one of the Doctor’s first three companions in the very first series of Doctor Who, from 1963.

And third, I was surprised to see the Phone-in Girl was played by Pippa Sparkes. Who is currently the travel / traffic girl on BBC London 94.9.

I can’t say it was action-packed: by modern standards, it was very slow, but sometimes, after a hard days’ work, that’s what you need.

I’m looking forward to subsequent episodes, you never know who’ll turn up!

In totally unrelated news: Two years ago, it was facing shutdown. Now, about to celebrate its 10th birthday, 6 Music is Britain’s biggest digital-only radio station and a champion of authentic sounds. How did it do it? Well, this article in today’s Independent attempts to answer the question.

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