Ian Hyland's TV Week: So Heavy-Handed They Called It MIT

Article excerpt

Byline: Ian Hyland

ACCORDING to the accompanying Press release - the fact that I actually read it may give you a clue as to how bored I was - ITV1's Saturday night spin-off from The Bill was almost not called MIT.

The name Murder Squad was binned because it sounded like The Naked Gun's forerunner Police Squad.

Think Murder was then ditched because there were already enough shows with Murder in the title. So they went for MIT instead. It stands for Murder Investigation Team.

But it rhymes with... well, you know.

Long before Sun Hill's murdered Sgt Matt Boyden was on the slab I'd come up with another much more suitable title.

"ANSWER THAT BLOODY PHONE!!!"

Because never has a TV show had so many loud telephones ringing every 10 seconds.

I wouldn't mind, but I got up to answer it myself three times in the opening 10 minutes.

Time I could ill afford to waste. Because things happen fast at MIT.

I barely had enough time to register all the ex-soap stars on parade.

Irene from EastEnders (Roberta Taylor), Bianca's mum from EastEnders (Lindsey Coulson), some bloke off Hollyoaks (some bloke off Hollyoaks) and the lead role was taken by Samantha Spiro who played Barbara Windsor in Cor Blimey.

Even the baddie was called Dex Barnes - I'm sure that's a Coronation Street character.

But hey, thank God they didn't call it Murder Squad. Heaven forbid it should get confused with Police Squad, a show which ruthlessly parodied every cliche in the cop show book. …