Wednesday, 02 December 2015

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Matthew Kelly

…is an Olivier-award winning actor and presenter. Despite starting his career on the stage, he is perhaps best known for being the host of ITV’s Stars In Their Eyes. He lives in West London with his miniature schnauzer, Gershwin.

What are you working on at the moment?
I’m rehearsing for panto which I’m doing with my son; we’re playing ugly sisters in Cinderella.

When are you at your happiest?
Now.

What is your greatest fear?
The inability to kill myself – it’s the greatest freedom we have and it’s not one that should be abused. I’ve never wanted to, but the thought of not being able to would be appalling to me.

What is your earliest memory?
Being in a big coach pram with my older brother. He is a year older, but we were brought up like twins.

What do you dislike about yourself?
My inability to be aware of my own limitations.

Who has been your greatest influence?
My parents. Without a doubt. My mother never lost her temper – I never saw her shout or get angry. It used to drive my father insane.

What is your most treasured possession?
Gershwin, my dog, and my Freedom Pass. The only two things I’d race into a burning building to save – and I’m not sure in which order.

What trait do you deplore in others?
Hypocrisy.

What do you dislike about your appearance?
I became a pensioner this year so I’m very aware that everything is heading south. I would be man-made head to foot, I’d have everything done. Unfortunately everything I have, especially my face, is too useful for work so I’m spared the dilemma of having to have anything done.

What is your favourite book?
Lucky Man: A Memoir by Michael J Fox.

What is your favourite film?
The Fifth Element, 2012, and La Vie En Rose.

first-imp-590-2Matthew’s musts include Michael J Fox’s book Lucky Man, the film of The Fifth Element and double egg and chips. And he would invite the Dalai Lama to dinner.

And your favourite record or piece of music?
I love Bruckner’s 7th Symphony. But I also love a bit of Rachmaninoff.  My favourite artists are Dusty Springfield and Nina Simone.

What is your favourite meal?
Double egg and chips – but whatever I’m eating at the time is my favourite.

Who would you most like to come to dinner?
The Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Jeremy Corbyn and Charles Dickens.

What is the nastiest thing someone has said to you?
My agent rang me one day years ago and said a reporter had rung him to say that they were from a well-known newspaper, with a red top, and that they’d heard that a celebrity was suffering from Aids and was it me. I was really shocked. I was a bit flattered they thought I was important enough, but at the same time I thought: ‘Really, that’s how you see me, is it?’

Do you believe in aliens?
I have no reason not to.

What is your secret vice?
I don’t have any secret ones. My worst one is smoking, I’m so desperate to give up but I’ve been smoking since I was 12 – 53 years! So what do you think are the chances?

Do you write thank-you notes?
No, I call people.

Which phrase do you most overuse?
‘What’s going on, it’s a ******* nightmare.’ And it has to be done in a Scouse accent.

What would improve the quality of your life?
The ability to say no.

Tell us something we don’t know about you?
I have 10 grandchildren.

What would you like your epitaph to read?
Matthew Kelly was here. He loved many, like a lot. But was appalled to learn that not everyone liked him. What’s not to like, he’s fabulous.

Matthew Kelly stars in Cinderella from 4 December to 10 January at the Richmond Theatre, The Green, Richmond TW9; 0844-871 7615, www.atgtickets.com/richmond 



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