This episode boasts the second appearance by Eddie's boat, as
Andy hides out there. And it also has one of the most
memorable scenes of the entire series about mid-way through,
when Strickland's goons get hold of Eddie, pump him full of
whiskey and dump him in the middle of the motorway.

The sequence near the end of the episode in Don's office (when
having finally secured important evidence against Strickland,
Andy now claims to have seen nothing after all), is a tour-de-
force of acting from Trevor Eve and David Ashton (playing Andy):
Eddie's initial exasperation, quickly turning to annoyance is very
funny indeed.

A cracking episode that fits a lot into its 50 minutes.
Eddie has plenty of false alarms on phone-in, but this time the caller may really
need help.
On the coast near Bristol, a wealthy man and his partner enjoy an early morning swim, before
travelling back to their luxurious house in their Jaguar. After changing, the man drives off - in a
battered second hand Skoda.

Andy, a milkman, is on his morning rounds when he sees the skoda driver being molested by a man
with a scar and his two henchmen. The skoda driver dies and the henchmen pursue Andy, who
desperately tries to get a message by phone to Eddie.

Eddie is currently in legal trouble after trying to prove local criminal Strickland guilty of a series of

Andy was in the same hospital as Eddie, and is famed for his calls to his friend about fictitious
murders. He mentions the Skoda, yet when the driver is found dead in his car, having supposedly
plunged off a cliff-top, Eddie becomes interested.

The Skoda driver's name was Joss Hargreaves, and Eddie visits Andy's house to talk to him.
Knocked unconscious by the two henchmen, Eddie awakens in a large storage freezer. The two
thugs realise they have the wrong man. Eddie is forced to drink whisky and thrown out onto a busy
Andy, witness to Strickland's crime
Crime boss Strickland
Surviving this ordeal and his subsequent hangover, Eddie visits Joss Hargreave's wife, a simple, plain
woman who says that he travelled as a stamp collector, and always came home on Friday to help with
the shopping. Eddie finds two stamps and is given Joss's address book. This leads him to a firm with a
secretary who tells him she has never heard of Hargreaves - he must have taken her name from the
telephone book at random in an attempt to sell her something.

Andy contacts Eddie again, and agrees to meet him at his disused boat. Talking to Andy briefly, Eddie
discovers that the man who threatened Hargreaves was none other than Strickland, recognising him by
a description of the scar on his lip. When Eddie returns after getting Andy some food, the milkman has
Eddie visits Andy's home
A whiskey-sodden Eddie on the M4
Andy switches his allegiance!
The truth from Hargreaves' lover
The first third of this episode takes the form of a
chase, without appearing as padding, as Andy is
hounded by Strickland's thugs. This section
culminates in the striking sequence in which Eddie is
dumped, drunk, onto a busy motorway. Following
this, Eddie gets his teeth into the mystery, which is
solved in a technical, but neat way.
Definitely the fastest moving of the first series'
episodes, closest "Shoestring" got to becoming an
action/adventure series without losing its complexity.
There are some great character scenes involving
Sonia and Eddie, too.
More legal obstacles for
Eddie in "STAMP DUTY"
Initially this focuses on Andy Stapleton, an ex-Fordingdale patient friend of Eddie, and one who we
learn "cries wolf" about crimes to him on a regular basis (only this time, of course, he's telling the
truth!). As played by David Ashton, he is a great guest character - and perhaps one of the few
Shoestring non-regulars who might have had the potential for a return appearance.

And as the episode opens there is some conflict with Cording, a Radio West lawyer who has a
problem with Eddie's unsubtle on-air comments about Strickland, a local ganglord (and whose
villainy kick-starts the plot here when two of his thugs scare Jocelyn Hargreaves into a heart attack,
witnessed by Andy). Eddie is, needless to say, unrepentant.
Original BBC1 tx:
18 NOVEMBER 1979
2100 - 2155hrs,
watched by 23.2 million

Filming dates:
25 July to 9 August 1979
(drn. 51'11")
Series 1, Episode 8:
written by JOHN KRUSE
directed by MARTYN FRIEND
Radio West D.J. Paul, played by
STUART BEVAN, made three
appearances in Series One:
Tracing Hargreaves to his luxurious home by the sea, Eddie talks to his partner there - the secretary
who had brushed him off earlier. She tells Eddie that Joss worked for Strickland, as a "go-between" -
paying criminals in stamps. When Joss wanted out, Strickland threatened him and accidentally killed

At Radio West, Andy talks to Eddie and Don, denying all knowledge of what has happened. Eddie
won't accept this, and tells Andy that he's going to help him.

Andy arranges to meet Strickland by the sea, and says he wants to settle a price for his services.
During the conversation, Strickland confesses to his actions, and Eddie appears, pointing out to sea --
a Radio West colleague with a long range microphone has taped the conversation, providing him with
all the evidence he needs.