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20.01.04


TV DRAMA PRESS PACKS


Hustle

A major new six-part drama for BBC ONE from Kudos,
the team behind Spooks, begins Tuesday 24 February, 9.00pm

"The con is on…"

The Hustle gang


Watch the Hustle trail online


Hustle will take you into a world with a whole new set of rules, where the good guys can be very bad and you can't always trust what's right before your eyes . . .


An action-packed blend of humour and intrigue, Hustle follows the fortunes of a gang of five expert con artists let loose on the streets of London.


They are specialists in the ways of the grifter and all are keen to liberate cash from the amoral and undeserving.


Dice The Hustlers


We meet the gang as their leader Mickey 'Bricks' Stone, played by Adrian Lester (Primary Colours, Love's Labours Lost), master of the dying art of the long con, is released from prison after having served a sentence for attacking his now ex-wife's lover, something that is totally out of character for someone so calm and laid-back.


Smooth-talker Mickey turns to his old crew to pull off one last score.


Albert Stroller, played by Robert Vaughn (The Man From U.N.C.L.E), is a veteran of the long con and Mickey's mentor.


If anyone can pick out and draw in a potential mark or target, it's Albert. As a result, he frequents the sort of establishments where the very wealthy can be found - private gentlemen's clubs, casinos, top hotels and restaurants are regular haunts for Albert the hunter and his unsuspecting prey.


Newest member of the gang is Danny Blue, played by Marc Warren (State of Play). A cheeky chappie with an eye for the ladies, he is young, ambitious and determined to prove he's got what it takes.


Keen to learn from Mickey, an inevitable power struggle develops as the student seeks to surpass his teacher.


Ash Morgan, played by Robert Glenister (Murder), is the technical brains of the operation. Safes, alarms, computers and cars are all a speciality.


Initially, he comes across as a loner but it's for Ash that the gang pull together for one of their biggest scores.


Completing the team and injecting some sexy, womanly, va va voom is Stacie Monroe, played by newcomer Jaime Murray.


Femme fatale Stacie is sassy, street-wise and very confident. Not afraid to use her feminine charms, she is pivotal to the crew's success and causes more than a little romantic tension within the group . . .


Dice The Target


Hustle also features a number of guest roles, as each episode sees the gang pick out a new mark, with appearances by Tamzin Outhwaite, Robert Pugh, Orla Brady, Philip Jackson and David Haig amongst others.


"I wanted to write something slick, stylish and sexy and something that would keep the audience guessing right to the end. But most of all I wanted it to be really entertaining," explains Hustle's chief scriptwriter, Tony Jordan.


"The gang are major league players, the crème de la crème. I was once told that the con artist is the aristocrat of crime, and the Hustle gang are definitely the kings of the long con.


"I read about 30 books, watched numerous films and spoke to real life confidence tricksters. I now know so much about this world that if I ever stop writing I think I could make it as a very successful con artist!"


Mickey and his crew don't con just anyone, they have a golden rule: only steal from the greedy - they aren't interested in your life savings.


They are con artists with a conscience and strictly major league. The marks are people we love to hate and can't wait to see being taken down a peg or two.


Anyone who will do anything for a fast buck is easy game. If you're rich, greedy, a taker, then beware because you may well be next on the list.


But it's not just about the money as Mickey is keen to point out to enthusiastic rookie, Danny.


Dice The History


It was during filming of the second series of Spooks, Kudos' hit MI5 drama, that director Bharat Nalluri suggested an idea for a drama series about con artists and in particular the dying art of the long con.


Jane Featherstone, joint MD of Kudos and executive producer of Spooks, took the idea to EastEnders' storyline consultant, Tony Jordan, to draft some scripts and to Gareth Neame, Head of Drama Commissioning for the BBC, who had no qualms about commissioning a six-part series. And so Hustle was born.


The innovative and fresh feel that was so evident in Spooks was something Featherstone wanted to replicate and expand upon with Hustle, but the main thing she wanted to achieve was a fun, stylish and totally entertaining drama series.


"Hustle's high-velocity, mould-breaking approach has the same cinematic feel as Spooks," explains Featherstone.


"It's original and distinctive, but above all it is never afraid to tell shamelessly entertaining stories, presenting both the audience and the characters with some sexy moral dilemmas and keeping the viewers guessing right to the end."


Says Nalluri: "There are fantastical sequences of dancing in casinos, characters looking and talking straight to camera in a light and intimate way and people freezing mid-action whilst the con artists explain their thinking.


"The audience is brought into the action and made privy to the hustlers' secrets - as a result they become one of the gang."

Spooks and Hustle producer Simon Crawford Collins explains: "I wanted to produce the kind of fun TV drama that leaves you with a big grin on your face.


"It's an unusual way to live life, but when the team pull off a con we're right behind them smiling at the sheer cheek of it."


Gareth Neame comments: "There's a perennial fascination with con men, tricksters and grifters - the way they work and methods we can employ to avoid being ensnared by them.


"So, following on from recent drama successes such as Cutting It and State Of Play, we're delighted to have Hustle - an exciting, innovative and sharp drama series from the team who have made Spooks such a hit for BBC ONE."


Inspired by an idea from Bharat Nalluri (Spooks), Hustle is written by Tony Jordan (Chief Storyline Consultant, EastEnders).


Matthew Graham (Spooks, Gentleman Thief) and Ashley Pharoah (Down to Earth, Paradise Heights) complete the writing team, and have also penned episodes of EastEnders alongside Tony Jordan.


The series is directed by Bharat Nalluri, Minkie Spiro and Robert Bailey and produced by Simon Crawford Collins (Spooks).


Executive producers are Jane Featherstone (Touching Evil) for Kudos and Gareth Neame for BBC – replicating the successful team that brought Spooks to the BBC.


www.bbc.co.uk/hustle


Dice Press pack


Cast credits


Production credits


Mickey 'Bricks' Stone (Adrian Lester)


Danny Blue (Marc Warren)


Albert Stroller (Robert Vaughn)


Ash Morgan (Robert Glenister)


Stacie Monroe (Jaime Murray)


The World of the Hustler


The Art of the Con - jargon explained


Dice Hustle trail


Watch the Hustle trail - "The con is on... "


Watch trail >>>


For help and advice on downloading this clip see the BBC Audio Visual help page.


Dice Related press releases


The Man From U.N.C.L.E. star, Robert Vaughn, joins the cast of new BBC ONE drama series, Hustle (16.09.03)


Adrian Lester and Marc Warren star as con men in a new series for BBC ONE from the makers of Spooks (15.08.03)


All the BBC's digital services are now available on Freeview, the new free-to-view digital terrestrial television service, as well as on satellite and cable.

Freeview offers the BBC's eight television channels, interactive services from BBCi, as well as 11 national BBC radio networks.


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