There goes the summer.

Holmes and Watson may have finished their brilliant run with the BBC, but they are still managing to pack em in at the Duchess Theatre in London. With only five weeks left, the box office has grown and grown and the advance, I'm told, is 'very healthy'. Well that's nice and riding the crest of the unexpected 'Sherlock' boom is proving a happy chance for our producers. The reviews have been very kind for the production and actors and despite sweltering under ten tons of tweed, is great fun to do. We also reveal who Moriarty is and believe me he's not called Jim.

Have just had to turn down a fantastic new play by William Nicholson - due to logistics - but am filming a new 'ghost film' called The Forbidden in Sept and then on to the BBC for Rock and Chips till Nov. So there goes the summer and her comes the rest of the year!


Elementary my dear...

Just begun a very short rehearsal period for 'The Secret of Sherlock Holmes', opening on the 15th July at The Duchess Theatre. It has toured successfully this year with Peter Egan as Holmes and Philip Franks as Watson. With the sudden demise of The Fantastiks, there was a two month gap at the theatre and the play is therefore stepping into the breach. Philip has directing commitments at Chichester this summer, so by a process of observation and deduction the producers have asked me to play Watson. Never had to learn a piece so quickly, but feel in safe hands with Peter and director Robin Herford. Also, there is an urgent need for me to grow a moustache that is fit for purpose. Not quite the summer I had envisaged then, but there you go...the game's afoot!


A Bit of...

Recording pieces for a Fry and Laurie appreciation documentary tomorrow. Been looking at A Bit of F and L and finding it just as fresh and funny as it was fifteen years ago. Two of the funniest and kindest performer/actors you could wish to work with. 


The Harsh Realities Of Life...

Employment for actors at a record low! This comes as no surprise to virtually every actor friend of mine. In a profession that has always offered employment challenges, it is perhaps no great surprise to discover that the recession hit the 'Arts and Entertainment' worlds pretty hard and early on. 'Everyone is available and if a producer wants Anthony Hopkins or Ruth Wilson, they are  probably going to get them'. That's the word from the agents and casting directors. Is it getting any better? Not yet and probably not for some time.  50% cuts in pay offers to actors and film and tv workers makes a 5% cut in salary by MP's look a little tame. Hey ho. At least 'boom and bust' is a state hard wired into most actors lives.  We'll attempt to do what we've always done. Learn our lines and try not to have to sell the furniture.


Jumping to Gail's defence.

Yes, the call I never expected to receive has come. This Essex boy is off to defend Gail in her murder trial in Coronation Street. Few hardened southerners are granted this opportunity and as Corrie is officially one of the 7 places to Act before you die, I head north with relish. Will I get her off or will she go down? The book is now officially open.