The former Minder star has fronted the popular BBC crime serial for more than a decade, but steps down in the second episode of Series 12, to be replaced by Larry Lamb, who plays the newest addition to UCOS, Ted Case.

New Tricks Series 12

So why is Waterman leaving now? He was the last man standing from the original cast. Was that a deciding factor? A recent interview with the Radio Times would suggest that it was.

He said: “Great TV shows are like rock’n’roll bands - you mess with the line up at your peril.”

Of course, while Waterman has nothing against the fine current cast, he was affected by the departures of James Bolam, Amanda Redman and Alun Armstrong. Unfortunately, he’d already signed on for another season.

That is fantastic news for us, since influential New Tricks writer Julian Simpson was brought back on board to write Waterman a fitting finale.

His character Gerry’s final storyline is an epic and unmissable one. It’s a tale of love, loyalty and family and it alone makes New Tricks Series 12 a must-own.

Still, to say that this is the only reason to order your copy of the show on DVD would do the rest of the series an injustice. New Tricks continues to be one of the most reliably entertaining crime shows on TV and the new cast featuring Tamsin Outhwaite, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Denis Lawson and Larry Lamb are solid and interesting.

New Tricks Series 12 is available to pre-order now. Nail down your copy of Dennis Waterman’s exciting farewell today.