July 1, 1962 on UK TV: ‘Police 5’

British actor and television presenter, Eric Stanley “Shaw” Taylor was best known for presenting Police 5, a long-running 5-minute television programme first broadcast in the London area in 1962 that appealed to the public to help solve crimes. He later presented a spin-off show for younger viewers called Junior Police 5, a.k.a. JP5. His catchphrase was “Keep ’em peeled!” – asking viewers to be vigilant. This was originally used at the end of every JP5 programme but, according to Taylor himself, “…at the suggestion of a friend I tried it out on the adult Police 5. I thought it sounded a bit naff at first but then the studio crew seemed to get withdrawal symptoms if I didn’t say it at the end of the programme and it became a catchphrase that complete strangers still shout at me in the street”.


Taylor presented and produced several regional versions of Police 5, including editions for ATV and Central in the Midlands and TVS in the South and South East of England, where the series ended its 30-year run in December 1992. In 2008, at the age of 83, Taylor featured as himself hosting Police 5 in the seventh episode of the BBC TV drama Ashes to Ashes, set in October 1981, in which he uses the aforedescribed “Keep ’em peeled!” In 2014, at the age of 89, he returned to TV with a weekly segment on the new, Channel 5 version of Police 5, and revived his ‘keep ’em peeled!’ catchphrase.


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