Do you really want to become an actor?
Well, I have to say yes!
For me it all started very innocently with my childhood. I was watching a movie of the time when, suddenly all of the action got cut to black, and I realised that a lot of the action took place by means of the camera. I then remembered that every other movie that I had seen when I was a kid, I had played the camera.
I knew what camera meant in those time periods back then, I mean it was all about film. It seemed that that wasn’t something that you had done before and then I found an old video. I remember the name of that old video is “The World in Motion”, because it was about cinema all around the world, back in the dark ages of film technology.
And I began to work out what a camera was and got really excited to explore the possibilities of it. I think I really began to work out as an actor. I had a very good friend who was an actor who made me realise that there was no question of whether somebody could be an actor. But I realised that I would definitely want to be an actor. And so I began to do it, and I started to work in the theatre, I actually did two plays at a time, and then I began to do a bit more television.
I did the first series of Doctor Who in 1980, and I continued with it until 1989.
But when you say you began, did it all start with the BBC? Was that all that was going in your head?
Well it started, and it ended with the BBC. But the BBC made a very clever decision. They wanted to launch in the late 1950s. They started with a very big budget, so I think that was a big mistake.
But then in the late 1960s they put it out on BBC1. It never got anywhere very well, but then in the 1970s they really decided to go in a different direction, and they changed the format and they did a lot more documentaries with much greater attention to detail and with, I don’t want to say that the drama got more sophisticated – it got more complicated. But you know, at the time there was a lot more excitement about film and about making films, and I remember in the late ’70s, people were saying that we will never get the drama to go where we want to go until the drama is on TV. So