It's hard to believe but it's 40 years since Taggart exploded on to Scottish TV screens. The pilot mini-series, Killer, which introduced the world to Jim Taggart, played so memorably by Mark McManus, broadcast on September 6, 1983.

For Colin McCredie, being cast as DC Stuart Fraser in 1995, the year after the death of McManus, was the start of 15 happy years on the show. He says he was the first of its stars who had grown up with the show, remembering it from his childhood in the early 80s.

There was also something significant about his character that at first he didn’t know: DC Fraser was gay.

“The first year I did it, there was no mention of him being gay,” says Colin. “And it transpired other people knew but not me. At first I was a bit annoyed by that – I’d rather have been informed. But in retrospect if I had been informed, would I have played it in a different way? In some ways, maybe it was a good idea.”

The fact Fraser was gay – and the way he was portrayed – was also pretty groundbreaking for TV of the time, although some parts of society still had some catching up to do".

The actor still has a news cutting from The Sun newspaper of the time with the headline Inspector Faggart.

“There had been a gay character in EastEnders,” says Colin, “which was very much about putting issues into the storylines, whereas what was interesting about Taggart was Fraser was a policeman who happened to be gay – he wasn’t defined by being it. It could go three four episodes and there would be no mention of it and in that way it was a really positive portrayal – he was a normal likeable character who happened to be gay.”

Tomorrow: We reunite the cast and crew for the first time in 40 years