Cast List | Intro | Jill
McGown | Michelle Collins | Philip
| A Shred Of Evidence |
Lloyd and Hill - Interview
The following is an ‘interview’ with Lloyd and Hill which was requested
by my American publishers Ballantine for inclusion in a booklet called ‘Two
Voices’, in which several crime writers interviewed their creations. The
interview was also included in the Fawcett paperback edition of Plots and Errors
in the States, and I thought that my British readers might like the opportunity
to read it; it appears here with the kind permission of Ballantine. The couple
were interviewed a few months before the birth of their daughter Charlotte.
McGown and Lloyd and Hill
made the two of you become police officers, and what would you
be doing now if you hadn't?
man called Jack Woodford - he's the reason I became a police
officer. I could have gone to university, but I wanted to start
earning money. I did a few clerical jobs, none of which suited
me; Jack, who was a police sergeant, said I couldn't stick with
anything- bet me that I wouldn't last five minutes as a policeman.
He was something of a psychologist. I'd have ended up teaching,
grew up in a university. Well, not exactly in one, but very closely
attached to one. My father was a lecturer. But I've never been
academic, despite that. I did quite well at school, but I never
wanted to study anything in depth. It seemed to me that the police
offered a good career with prospects, and you didn't have to
sit exams. I've no idea what I'd be doing. I never wanted to
be an airhostess or a model or anything. Girly jobs weren't for
of Girly jobs, have you encountered sexism in the police?
because despite all the legislation, sexism comes down from the
top; sometimes it's even well intentioned. Not putting women
in the front line, that sort of thing. I try not to take offence
when there's none meant, but I give as good as I get when there
is. There is a glass celing, though some women have broken through,
even in CID. I've been lucky so far.
means, we've got a trendy cop at the top. Unless he fancies her,
that you are in the front line, does the job give you nightmares?
yes. When a friend of mine was the victim.
was probably the most difficult case that either of us had to
deal with. But then, we weren't working together, not really.
We work best together, I think.
you believe that a relationship between close colleagues is a
if you are talking about Lloyd and I, because we know each other
very well and that can really help, especially when you are interviewing
someone. You know when to butt in and when to butt out. And we've
always tried to leave any differences at home.
home? Yours or mine? And it's Lloyd and me. Even though we do
work well together, I wouldn't recommend working with your partner,
not really. I find it hard to shut off my feelings just because
we're at work.
I don't? Just because I actually stick to the agreement to keep
our private and professional lives separate doesn't mean it's
easy. And stop correcting my grammar.
JILL: Do your colleagues know about
JUDY: It's an open secret, because gossip
gets round a police station faster than the speed of light, but
no one knows officially, not even now. They know I'm pregnant,
and they can guess who by, but it's none of their business. I
don't know when we'll make it official, if at all. In any event,
I intend to carry on working.
JILL: What are your professional ambitions?
JUDY: I'm not sure. I think this is
probably as far as I want to go rankwise. In a way, I miss being
at the sharp end, actually walking down the street in a uniform.
But it's nice being able to do things your way, and there's more
scope for that higher in the ranks, obviously.
LLOYD: Ignore her. Show her a promotion
and she jumps at it, then worries herself sick that she won't
come up scratch. My ambition is to retire. I might be offered
early retirement when Judy comes back to Stansfield, and I'll
take it if I am because Judy has promised to marry me when I
retire. But I'm not at all sure what I'd do with myself. I might
write. I think I could write good detective novels. I don't fancy
being a househusband.
JUDY: I said I'd marry you. I didn't
say I'd move in with you.
LLOYD: She always leaves herself an
JILL: Why are you so reluctant to commit
fully to Lloyd?
JUDY: I am totally committed to Lloyd,
and he knows that. But I suppose the idea of actually setting
up home with him scares me. That's why I stayed married to Michael
for so long. I knew where I was with him. Lloyd tells me what
I want to hear, not what he really thinks, and that bothers me.
And at the moment, we don't know where I will be working, or
even if I'll be working. We don't know if Lloyd will be offered
early retirement. It would be silly to make any hard and fast
plans until we do.
LLOYD: See what I have to put up with?
She calls that total commitment.
JILL: How long are you prepared to wait,
LLOYD: I don't honestly see myself as
waiting. This is how it is. I might have an unfortunate tendency
toward male chauvinism, but I'm not a reactionary- the conventional
family set up isn't the only one that works. If anything, my
son and daughter have a more extensive family network to fall
back on than they would have had if Barbara and I had stayed
together. My daughter was dubious of Judy at first, but they
get on well now, and she lived with Judy's parents when she first
went to London. I don't think this baby will want for love or
protection whatever happens, whether or not his or her parents
JUDY: That's not what you said last
LLOYD: No, but it's what you said. So
I might as well agree and save time.
JUDY: See what I mean?
Author's note: Shelley Greenwood has known
both Lloyd and Judy Hill for some time and was thus granted an
exclusive interview at which I was present merely as a note-taker.
The answers, I'm pleased to say, were as frank as the questions
were candid. I hereby acknowledge Shelley with thanks.