Following the official opening of The Old Vic's new production of King Lear starring double Academy Award-w...
Date of Birth
Place of birth
Runnymede Gardens, near the Hoover building, on the A 40 at Greenford
Did you go to training school, if so which one?
The Rada darling
Briefly tell us how you became involved with "Yes, Prime Minister".
I made it clear to the relevant authorities that I’d like to be considered, and they saw me for an interview…
What was your first stage performance?
First ever stage appearance was playing a ‘fire balloon’ on the theatre at the end of the Palace Pier , Brighton, aged 9. 1st professional engagement was Felix in ‘The Bed Before Yesterday’, Marlowe Theatre Canterbury, September 1978.
What is your career highlight to date?
Probably playing Marco in the RNT”s production of “A View From The Bridge” in 1986. ‘Burn This’ second, and Sam Mendes’ ‘Company’ a close third. Working with Alan Ayckbourn a constant highlight…
What roles would you most like to play?
Willy Lohman in Death Of A Salesman
What's the best advice you've ever received?
‘It’s not fair and don’t be late…’
What has been your most embarrassing moment?
Ad-libbing in front of a full house for 3 minutes when a fellow actor was off. I ended up singing ‘There’s No Business Like Show business…’
What is the most annoying part about your job?
The lack of constant and unequivocal adoration.
If you had not become a performer, what might you have done instead?
Worked for the civil service, eaten sweets and done amateur operatics in the evenings.
Favourite after-show haunts?
The biscuit tin at home.
Who are your favourite actors/actresses?
Denis Shaw, Robert Donat , Charles Laughton, Ralph Richardson, Lee J Cobb, Rod Steiger, John Gregson, Glenda Jackson and Imelda Staunton.
If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be and what would you say to them?
Captain Scott. ‘What on earth were you doing…?’
What was the last book you read, and name some of your favourite authors.
“London Belongs To Me’ by Norman Collins. Favourite authors are Jerome K Jerome, George Gissing, George Orwell, Christopher Hitchens, Patrick Hamilton, Bill Bryson.
What was the last film you saw, and name some of your favourite movies?
Last film I saw was The Pianist. Favourite films are Brief Encounter, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The General, It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World,The Charge Of The Light Brigade and almost anything by Laurel & Hardy.
Favourite TV programs?
Anything in which I’m appearing.
Favourite holiday destinations?
Nice and Greece.
Do you have any hobbies?
Watching and playing cricket, writing books, and sitting in the lounge watching re-runs of The Champions.
Do you have any superstitions?
I daren’t answer that question in case something terrible happens to me….
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you take with you?
My chanting books and beads (I’m a practicing Buddhist of 23 years ) – and an Owzthat Set…
What are your future plans?
More Yes Prime Ministers till January and a 5th book, working title ‘How To Act’ (a survivor’s guide).