Friday, 03 June 2016


…is an actor, best known for his roles in the television series The Professionals, The Chief, Judge John Deed and Inspector George Gently. He lives in Norfolk with Karen Da Silva

What are you working on at the moment?
Hobson’s Choice, it’s going absolutely brilliantly. We’ve done a sell-out tour and we’re just about to go into the West End. Previews are from 8 June and we open officially on 14 June.

When are you at your happiest?
Lots of times: when I’m flying, when I’ve got family around, when a first night has gone incredibly well and the audience has stood up and cheered, when I’m in the countryside and I’ve climbed up high and I can see the sea – I couldn’t pick one in particular.

What is your greatest fear?
I don’t think I have one.

What is your earliest memory?
Earliest memories would have been about being 18 months old and wearing velvet leggings that fastened underneath my feet and a Fair Isle bonnet that my mother had made – and I hated it.

What do you most dislike about yourself?
Intolerance and being very critical, and I’m impatient with people who don’t keep to an arranged time.

Who has been your greatest influence?
A teacher I had at drama school called Vivien Matalon. He was a teacher of the Stanislavski method and it really stuck in my head as the way to do things.

What is your most treasured possession?
My aeroplane, which is a 1943 L4 Piper Cub.

What trait do you most deplore in others?

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
The inevitable onslaught of the paunch, which I’m having to fight.

What is your favourite book?
One of the Patrick O’Brian novels, Post Captain.

What is your favourite film?
This is a good old hackneyed one – The Godfather.

first-imp-590-2Pasta with pesto and halloumi, Patrick O’Brian novels, Sir Malcolm Sargent’s Messiah and The Godfather

And your favourite record or piece of music?
The 1956 recording of Messiah, conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent.

What is your favourite meal?
Pasta, usually with halloumi and pesto sauce.

Who would you most like to come to dinner?
Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Alex Henshaw the pilot, and Thomas More.

What is the nastiest thing anyone has ever said to you?
I don’t hold onto things like that so I can’t remember.

Do you believe in aliens?

What is your secret vice?
Taking a bag of corn chips to bed and putting them in the bedside cupboard so I can eat them in the middle of the night.

Do you write thank-you notes?
Yes I do.

Which phrase do you most overuse?

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
A Lottery win.

Tell us one thing people might not know about you.
I like solitude.

What would you like your epitaph to read?
‘I don’t care what you do with this body, I’m done with it.’

Martin Shaw stars in Hobson’s Choice at the Vaudeville Theatre, 404 Strand, London WC2, from 8 June to 10 September: 0330-333 4814,

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