There aren’t many TV series that are sufficiently compelling to make me stay home (okay, I haven’t yet come to terms with catch-up TV). But without doubt, one of them was the legal drama Judge John Deed, which ran for six series from 2001 to 2007. A High Court judge, Sir John Deed (played by Martin Shaw), tries to bring a more acute sense of justice to the cases which come up before him. They invariably involve controversial subject matter such as the MMR vaccine and radio masts and sprinkled throughout the series is a positive portrayal of animals, animal rights and veganism. Largely filmed at the partly-abandoned, red-brick masonic school at Bushey, it was there that I interviewed two of its stars, Martin Shaw and Jenny Seagrove (barrister Jo Mills, who Deed is involved with both in and out of court). Both have subsequently become Viva! patrons.
We had lunch on the location catering bus and Martin surprised me by saying that all the food was veggie. Who, I wondered, was behind that decision? It was pretty obvious, really!