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Taylor, Shaw (1924-)

Presenter, Actor

Main image of Taylor, Shaw (1924-)

He started his career as an actor, but Shaw Taylor's authoritative yet approachable personality made him the perfect TV presenter. He is best remembered the pioneering crime-busting TV show Police 5 (ITV, 1962-92), where he coined his sign-off catchphrase 'keep 'em peeled'.

Born in 1924 in Hackney, London, he trained as an actor at RADA. His unexpected shift in career came in 1957 when Associated Television (ATV) called on Taylor to fill in as a TV announcer for a six-week stint. From this moment his acting roles gave way to presenting late 1950s/early 1960s game shows such as Tell the Truth (ITV, 1957-61), Dotto (ITV, 1958-60), Pencil and Paper (ITV, 1960-62) and Password (ITV, 1963).

Taylor's versatility enabled him to feel as much at home presenting Royal Command Performances as he was commentating on European Figure Skating Championships. He also presented ITV's Drive-in (1971-78), a motoring precursor of BBC's Top Gear (1978-), and was occasionally to be found on holiday programme Wish You Were Here...? (ITV, 1974-2003; 2008-).

Police 5, which he presented from its inception in 1962, was a five-minute appeal to the public solve crimes - a less sensationalist forerunner of Crimewatch UK (BBC, 1984-). His enduring association with the programme led to his appearance as himself (uttering his catchphrase) in the BBC's period cop drama Ashes to Ashes (2008-10). He was awarded an MBE in 1985.

Eddie Dyja

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