Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Laughing in the Face of Crime; New Spoof Detective Comedy Top Coppers Has Been Dubbed 'Father Ted Meets a Seventies Cop Show'. Its Stars, John Kearns and Steen Raskopoulos, Introduce JEANANNE CRAIG to the Justice City Police Department

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Laughing in the Face of Crime; New Spoof Detective Comedy Top Coppers Has Been Dubbed 'Father Ted Meets a Seventies Cop Show'. Its Stars, John Kearns and Steen Raskopoulos, Introduce JEANANNE CRAIG to the Justice City Police Department

Article excerpt

Byline: JEANANNE CRAIG

EVIL twins, mad scientists and a pair of fairly clueless policemen called Mahogany and Rust... welcome to the world of Top Coppers, BBC Three's new spoof detective comedy.

Inspired by retro cop shows, the six-part series centres on the fictional Justice City Police Department and is described by series creators Cein McGillicuddy and Andy Kinnear as "a huge American-style metropolis, made up of old-school crime capers and outrageous villains, but with a quirky British twist".

At the beating heart of the department are detectives John Mahogany and Mitch Rust, played by comedians Steen Raskopoulos and John Kearns.

The two leading men talk us through the show, and reveal what antics went on behind the scenes...

STARSKYS IN THEIR EYES CEIN and Andy took their lead from shows like The Professionals and Mission: Impossible.

"The great thing about Seventies and Eighties cop shows is that the theme and show titles were usually the best bit. Starsky & Hutch and Simon & Simon were particular favourites," says 28-year-old Londoner John, who plays Rust.

Actor-wise, he cites David Rasche of US police sitcom Sledge Hammer! and Leslie Nielsen in TV comedy Police Squad! as heroes, while Australian Steen, also 28, was inspired by Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop and Starsky & Hutch's Paul Michael Glaser.

THE MAIN MEN THE son of hero cop Frank (now deceased), Mahogany is the voice of reason in Top Coppers, who'll often say just what the audience is thinking. But despite his apparent self-assurance, Mahogany is a bit needy at heart.

Rust, meanwhile, is greedier and more selfish than his colleague, and tends to try and manipulate situations to meet his own ends. He does have a sensitive side though, and is also very partial to bacon-flavoured crisps.

"John is the more responsible one, while Mitch is more carefree. Individually, both of them are pretty clueless, but magic happens when they work together," says Sydney-born Steen.

The pair are "like brothers, with both thinking they're the oldest", adds John.

IDENTITY PARADE YOU'LL see plenty of familiar faces cropping up in Justice City over the course of the series, from Fonejacker's Kayvan Novak to Four Weddings And A Funeral and The Vicar Of Dibley's James Fleet. …

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