GLUED TO THE BOX (originally Jonathan Cape Ltd, 1983), is "the third and last
selection from Clive James's scintillating ten years as the
Observer's television critic"
(inside cover). This volume covers December 1979 to March 1982 and aside from being
a hugely entertaining read, is a very useful volume for encapsulating British television as it
was during
Shoestring's original broadcast.

The series is mentioned three times by Mr James. Firstly, from his Back In Showbiz
column (30 November 1980 - "LOOKING FOR MR WRIGHT" had been the most recent
episode, shown 16 November):

"Shoestring (BBC1), from a near-nothing start, has become must viewing for the
millions. The millions include me, for reasons I can't quite analyse. The mysteries
Eddie solves are small beer. The big plus, apart from the hero's undoubted charm, is
probably the fact that the minor characters are so satisfyingly filled out." [p144]

Next, from Nobody Understands All (17 January 1982 - following the first 2 episodes of
a re-run of Series 2, and in response to a real-life crime in which the perpetrator received
a far too lenient sentence):

"A repeat series of Shoestring (BBC1) and a brand new series of Minder (Thames)
helped convince the viewer, by way of these two deservedly popular vigilantes, that
good triumphs over evil in the end. They don't exist, but at least they don't disappoint
you. They always come through with the goods, even if the goods are only dreams."

Finally, and perhaps most interestingly, in Make Mine Minder (28 February 1982
-"LOOKING FOR MR WRIGHT", obviously a favourite of Clive James, had been shown
a few days before):

"Looking at shows like Minder and Shoestring, you can see what happened to the
British film industry. Television left it standing. Apart from the concerted effort
represented by Ealing in its best years, very few British films got within a hundred miles
of authentic low life. They didn't get within the same distance of authentic high life,
either. They were made, on the whole, by people who knew very little about any kind of
milieu except the perennial one in which bad movies are made. Wanting that kind of
film industry to return is like wanting the restoration of the Bourbons. In Britain, the
only real reason for turning an idea into a feature film instead of a television
programme is if the small screen and a low budget would combine to cramp it". [p265]
Reviews & Reaction
The Times, Monday
10 December 1979 ("THE PARTNERSHIP"
had been shown the night before):
Radio Times letters page, 8 - 14
December 1979, re "THE LINK-UP":
(Leslie Halliwell with Philip Purser
PALADIN Books 2nd Edition 1985 p/b). An excellent
reference volume which, unlike the better-known
'HALLIWELL'S FILM GUIDE', was not continued
after Leslie Halliwell's untimely death:

[They've got the number of episodes wrong, but in view
of the nice review, never mind...]
In addition, entries on the programme feature in far too many television reference books
to mention, but take my word that it is usually in glowing terms! One volume, however,
stands out: The Guinness Book of Classic British TV (Paul Cornell, Martin Day &
Keith Topping 1st Ed. 1993) contains an insightful and comprehensive 3 pages on the
The Listener, Andrew Sinclair reviewing "THE TEDDY
BEARS' NIGHTMARE",16 October 1980 edition