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The Works Magazine Article - "The Return of Cracker" (May 2006)


It's been over a decade since we last saw the memorable figure of the smoking, gambling, drinking, bad-mouthed detective Eddie 'Fitz' Fitzgerald, but he's back on our screens this year for a one-off two-hour special. "It's excellent," enthuses writer Jimmy McGovern, "Antonia Bird (the director) has shot it like a small movie, and she's done it really, really well. I take my hat off to her". Many thought Cracker had come to its end back in 1995, including McGovern, who reveals the reasons behind the creation of this one-off, "We needed a sponsor for a thing i'm involved in, for charity, so I asked Granada to sponsor it, and if they sponsored this thing, i'd do them another Cracker," remarks McGovern, "So that was the deal. And then I got started on Cracker and I was glad, because I wouldn't have done it without that". 


And of course Cracker wouldn't be Cracker without Coltrane in the lead role, "I'm the man who said Robbie Coltrane could never play Fitz!", McGovern laughingly exclaims. Did the actor take much persuasion to reprise the role? "He seemed very happy," asserts McGovern, "He's just the same now as I always remember him. I'm old now, but he looks like the man I wrote for 10 years ago!". Whilst Fitz may not appear different on a superficial level, the past decade will have certainly taken a toll on his general outlook on life: "He's feeling his age, his body's letting him down a bit," explains McGovern, "I think even in his 40's he thought he was indestructible. He's now finding he's not".


The decade long hiatus is explained by Fitz moving to Sydney, Australia, and returning to Britain for a wedding, "And as luck would have it, a murder takes place..." laughs McGovern, "He's able to come back into the country and say 'What the fuck happened here?'". McGovern describes the special, originally called 9/11, as "About a man driven mad by the aftermath of 9/11. As far as I'm concerned, that's been the most amazing thing that's happened to white people in my experience. And it would be the same for Fitz, that he's never seen anything like it. It's about that and the world today, as seen through the eyes of a white man in Britain".


The Unofficial Guide To Cracker 1999-2006