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PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS IN FILM & TELEVISION
Below you will find an interview with our principle Investigator regarding a recent TV show. As you will see, not all Private Investigators are stereotypes:
A private investigator’s view on TV drama Jack Taylor
Interview by Laura Barnett
The Guardian, Monday 18 March 2013
‘It does show all the groundwork’ … Jack Taylor.
This interview is mentioned in Wikipedia.
I have never once, in all my 16 years as a private investigator, been held at gunpoint by a drugs baron in an underground car park. This happens in the third episode of this Irish TV series, starring Iain Glen as private detective Jack Taylor. That’s not to say it couldn’t happen: you do come into contact with some shady characters. But the worst experience I’ve ever had was being shoved up against the wall by my lapels when serving divorce papers.
The first time I tried to watch this, I turned it off after 20 minutes. I just couldn’t stand it: the heavy-drinking, loner ex-cop. That’s not who I am at all. I’m married with two children, and I’m not a former alcoholic. That said, the first guy I worked for was a lot like Taylor: small flat, never married, no kids. It’s a tough job. I work from 5am to 8pm, seven days a week. It can take a huge toll on relationships. I’m lucky my wife is so understanding.
I enjoyed it much more the second time. It does show all the groundwork we have to put in: people think we sit and type names into Google, but we’re out there, pounding the streets. And although I’ve never taken on a murder case, as Taylor does, missing-person cases are our bread and butter.
The term “private detective” is a bit out of date. I associate it with ex-cops like Taylor, doing private work in their retirement. We do matrimonial and corporate surveillance, pre-employment screening; we prefer the term “private investigator”.
Shows like this are great entertainment, but they do give people the wrong idea. Clients ask me to hack phones and emails, not realizing that we only work within the law. I was the same: when I was younger, I loved The Rockford Files. It was a great disappointment to find out I couldn’t just pull up outside a house and expect nobody to notice me. In reality, you drive into a road, see the net curtains twitch, and think: “Where on earth am I going to park?”
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