In his obituary of actor George Cole (7 August), Alasdair Steven did not mention a significant historical coincidence. The series Minder, with which he was so closely associated, started in the same year that the late Margaret Thatcher became prime minister.
This no doubt prompted one of the most famous political insults of all time some years later from former chancellor of the Exchequer Denis Healey.
In a reference to both her social philosophy and political style Healey said she combined “the diplomacy of Alf Garnett with the economics of Arthur Daley”. Cole himself once joked that his character Arthur came in the same year as Margaret Thatcher but lasted even longer (Minder survived until 1994 and Mrs Thatcher’s regime until 1990).
It still leaves us thinking about how the themes of popular dramas can follow, unthinkingly, political trends.