Sunday, 28 May 2017
A CAMEL hair coat and the trilby worn by George Cole in Minder have fetched £11,500 at auction.
The items were given to the actor after the final series of the long-
running ITV comedy drama was broadcast in 1994.
Cole had worn them in many of the 114 episodes in which he played the shifty car salesman and wheeler-dealer Arthur Daley opposite Dennis Waterman, who was cast as his bodyguard Terry McCann.
He continued to wear them at public events organised by fans of the show, which was first shown in 1979.
Cole, who lived near Stoke Row with his wife Penny, died in August 2015, aged 90.
Mrs Cole said the garments had been sitting in a wardrobe for several years and she needed money to pay for the upkeep of the family home, where she still lives. They were sold by Special Auction Services, of Newbury, which expected them to go for about £1,200.
They were snapped up by an anonymous online buyer who is said to be a Minder fan.
Mrs Cole did not attend the auction but watched the bids coming in on her computer alongside the couple’s daughter Tara Cole.
She said: “I was amazed. I couldn’t believe how generous people were being and George wouldn’t have done either.
“I didn’t attend because I feared I might be a distraction but I’m told the room was full of fans.
“The coat and hat were both pretty iconic and he would often wear them at the fans’ request.
“He had an enormous amount of respect for his admirers and would go to a great deal of trouble for them as he felt they were part and parcel of his success. It’s funny because George never understood what people saw in Arthur Daley. He said he was a dreadful man but I think he was someone for whom hope sprang eternal.
“People liked him because he was confident in his ability to bounce back from anything.
“Minder has a lot of nostalgia value for people because they remember watching it with their parents.
“It’s a connection to their past and they get an enormous amount of pleasure from it.
“The rooms in this house were all renovated with money George earned from acting but now quite a few things have gone wrong and there are lots of little repairs that need doing.
“In a way, George and the fans are keeping his work on the house going through this sale.
“It’s sad to see them go but I’m glad they’re going to someone who is a fan of the show as they will get pleasure from owning them.”
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