Bruce Jones (actor)

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Bruce Jones
Bruce Jones cropped.jpg
Jones in 2007.
Born Ian Roy Jones
(1953-01-24) 24 January 1953 (age 61)
Collyhurst, Manchester, Lancashire, England, UK
Nationality British
Ethnicity White British
Occupation Actor
Years active 1993–2013
Television Coronation Street (1997-2007), Celebrity Big Brother 12 (2013)
Spouse(s) Sue Bailey (m. 197182)
Sandra Jones (m. 1984)
Children 4
Parents Bruce and Irene Jones

Bruce Jones (born Ian Roy Jones on 24 January 1953) is an English actor, best known for his role as cab driver Les Battersby in Coronation Street. He left the role in 2007.[1] Jones's real name is Ian Roy Jones, but he took the name of his father for professional purposes.

Early life[edit]

Jones was born to Bruce and Irene Jones in Collyhurst, Manchester, Lancashire. He was brought up in a typical working class household before he went to live with his grandmother in Wales where he joined his school drama group at the age of eleven and dreamt of becoming an actor.

On the morning of 9 October 1977, Jones discovered the mutilated body of 20 year old prostitute Jean Jordan on an allotment in Chorlton, Manchester - a victim of the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe.

Career[edit]

Jones' first introduction into show business was when he formed a comedy duo with a friend and went on to work the club circuit as Clarke and Jones for many years.

It was during this time that Bruce decided he would like to try his hand at acting and his first big break came in 1993 when he was cast as the lead of Bob Williams in the feature film Raining Stones by director Ken Loach; the film went on to receive great critical acclaim and won the Evening Standard Awards for Best Film and Best Screenplay. Bruce was presented with the European Actors Award.

In 1995, Jones had a role as a prostitute's client in Band of Gold. In 1997, he had a small part in the hit film The Full Monty. He played one of the males who auditioned to be one of the strippers, and he received the Stage Actor's Guild Award, (SAG). He also appeared in the Shane Meadows film Twenty Four Seven with actor Bob Hoskins in 1997, before joining the cast of the ITV soap Coronation Street, playing the role of Les Battersby.

Over the following years Bruce gained numerous credits for film and television productions including Heartbeat, A Touch of Frost, Roughnecks, Hillsborough. Jones appeared as Dean Martin in Celebrity Stars in Your Eyes, Mr Bumble in Scrooge for Children in Need and the Robber in Granada's televised Christmas Pantomime Cinderella. He also made several television appearances in game shows and chat programmes.

Suspension[edit]

In March 2007, he was suspended from Coronation Street after allegedly getting drunk with an undercover reporter, making inappropriate comments and revealing future storylines.[2] It was confirmed on 30 May 2007 that he would not be returning to the show.

After Coronation Street[edit]

He performed stand-up comedy in Benidorm. On 23 March 2008, Jones featured in Celebrity Wife Swap with Sinitta. Jones played Mick the Manager in the film Souled Out. Jones also appeared on the TV programme The Dark Side of Fame with Piers Morgan.

Jones took part in the BBC1 show Famous, Rich and Homeless, which aired in June 2009. He was joined by four other celebrities who would leave their life of fame and fortune for the cold and lonely streets of London. Jones was clearly the most affected by the experience, regularly seen breaking into tears and considering pulling out of the show. In a state of frustration, desperation and anger, Jones ranted to the camera expressing his support to the idea of returning the death penalty to the UK, in order to allow money to be freed to aid the homeless and the elderly. In his rant, Jones said that "rippers" should all be hanged in order for taxpayers' money to be spent on the homeless and pensioners instead. He added that he would "smile at him" as it happened and referenced his horrific discovery of one the Yorkshire Ripper's victims, describing himself as a victim.[citation needed]

In November 2009, Jones appeared in Celebrity Come Dine With Me. The competition was won by former Catchphrase host Roy Walker.[citation needed]

Jones appeared as King Rat in pantomime Dick Whittington at the Contemporary Urban Centre from 14 December 2009 until 3 January 2010.[3]

He is currently working with a Manchester-based production company called "Gritish Films".[dated info]

In December 2010 a pantomime Jones was starring in was cancelled.[4] Ticket sales were described as "very low".[5] He had intended to perform in stand up comedy at an hotel in the Costa del Sol, but this was cancelled in April 2011 after only five tickets were sold.[6] In May 2011 a planned pub gig near County Durham entitled "An Audience with Bruce Jones" was cancelled after no tickets were sold.[7]

He published his ghostwritten autobiography in November 2011.[8]

Jones performed as Captain Hook and Mr Darling in Peter Pan at the Blackfriars Arts Centre, Boston, Lincolnshire over Christmas 2011.[9] He struggled with this role and was reported to have lost his voice; despite his alcoholism, he continued to drink throughout the run of the show.[10]

In April 2012 Jones appeared in a music video for British rock group Never A Hero which was featured on Kerrang! TV.[11]

In October 2012 Jones commissioned author and playwright Huw Roberts to write a one-man play about tackling and recovering from depression. Starring Jones, TALK!! Tackling the Taboo premiered at Theatr Colwyn, Colwyn Bay, North Wales in April 2013. The show was well reviewed and tours the UK in 2013-14. In May 2013 Jones told "The Sun" that he is also working as a mechanic at a garage in North Wales for £120 a week.[12]

On 22 August 2013, Jones entered the Celebrity Big Brother house with his ex on screen Coronation Street wife, Vicky Entwistle and on 6 September 2013 he became the fourth housemate to be evicted losing to Abz Love, Courtney Stodden, Lauren Harries, Louie Spence and Entwistle.

Charity work[edit]

Together with his Coronation Street colleagues and accompanied by his agent Tony Nyland and Zingari Swing, Bruce raised tens of thousands of pounds for the Variety Club of Great Britain.

In 2004, Jones was awarded the Silver Heart by the Variety Club of Great Britain in acknowledgement of his charity work.

Personal life[edit]

Jones married Sue Margaret Bailey on 12 June 1971 at St. Oswald's Church, Collyhurst. The couple had two sons, John and Stephen, and divorced in 1982. In 1984, Jones married Sandra; the couple had two children and lived in Marple.[13]

In 1998 he pleaded guilty to drink driving after being found more than twice over the limit and was banned from driving for three years. By 2000, his alcoholism became so heavy he spent a spell in the celebrity rehab clinic the Priory.[citation needed]

In August 2009, Jones grabbed and repeatedly jerked the steering wheel of his car whilst his wife was driving it on the A55 in North Wales, causing it to swerve. On 19 March 2010 at Mold Crown Court, he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and drink-driving.[14] His wife told the court that he had physically and emotionally abused her for years.[15] On 27 April 2010, the same court sentenced him to eight months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.[16]

Jones told The People newspaper in January 2009 that he had blown his £1 million fortune and has not received any offers of work since leaving Coronation Street, and owed £30,000 in taxes.[17] In September 2009 he was living alone in a caravan in North Wales.[18] In May 2010 it was reported that Jones has been made homeless after the bank repossessed his £500,000 Cheshire house in order to pay his large debts, and that he cannot afford to go into rehab for his chronic alcoholism.[19]

On 15 July 2011 the bank was forced to repossess his second home, a bungalow in North Wales. Court documents reveal that the Bank of Scotland started proceedings to get back £204,641 in outstanding mortgage debt.[20]

In June 2012 Jones told the Daily Mirror that he has regularly contemplated suicide after losing both his homes. He has been warned by doctors that he will die soon if he does not stop drinking, but no longer cares. At the peak of his alcoholism he admits drinking fifteen pints a day.[21] Although he only has fourteen pounds in his bank account, he admits that he continues to find money for alcohol. His wife has left him and moved to Wolverhampton to try to find work and build a new life. On 22 June 2012, Jones shared his life story with Debi Jones on the Holiday & Cruise Channel - Sky 284's flagship programme 'Cruising with the Stars'.

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1993 Raining Stones Bob
1996 Bob's Weekend Bob
1996 "Hillsborough" Video Technician
1997 The Full Monty Reg
1997 Twenty Four Seven Tim's Dad
2008 Snappers Bruce [22]
2010 Soulboy Wigan Casino Bouncer

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Soaps - News - Bruce Jones to leave 'Coronation Street'". Digital Spy. 2007-05-30. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  2. ^ "Coronation Street actor suspended". BBC News. 2007-03-27. Retrieved 2010-11-17. 
  3. ^ "DICK WHITTINGTON CONTEMPORARY URBAN CENTRE". Contemporary Urban Centre. 23 December 2009. Retrieved 11 April 2011. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Les Battersby actor, Bruce Jones, sacked from panto!". heatworld.com. 2010-12-21. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  5. ^ Sue Carr (2010-12-21). "Oh no it wasn't: Bruce Jones denies he was to blame for panto being axed | Tameside Advertiser". menmedia.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  6. ^ "Shamed Corrie star Bruce Jones gig cancelled after just five tickets are sold - Celeb News - Celebs + TV". People.co.uk. 2011-04-10. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  7. ^ Steve White (2011-05-23). "Coronation Street star Bruce Jones fails to sell one ticket for pub gig - 3am & Mirror Online". Mirror.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  8. ^ "Coronation Street Blog: Bruce Jones reveals Corrie secrets in autobiography". Coronationstreetupdates.blogspot.com. 2011-11-16. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  9. ^ Bernard Bale (2012-01-03). "The Stage / Reviews / Peter Pan". Thestage.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  10. ^ Hammond, Laura (2011-12-23). "Video: Ex-Coronation Street star Bruce Jones on life in Boston and his panto role - Arts & Leisure". Boston Standard. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  11. ^ http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/lowestoft_guitarist_to_star_in_video_with_coronation_street_star_1_1356929
  12. ^ Dale, Rachel. The Sun (London) http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/soaps/4918665/corries-bruce-jones-now-works-as-mechanic.html |url= missing title (help). 
  13. ^ "Biography". Corrie.net. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  14. ^ "Les Battersby actor admits grabbing wheel while wife drove". Inthenews.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  15. ^ Hornby, Mike (18 March 2010). "Coronation Street star Bruce Jones abused me for years, says wife - News - People - The Independent". The Independent (London). 
  16. ^ "Bruce Jones, Coronation Street star, sentenced for dangerous driving". London: Telegraph.co.uk. 2010-04-27. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  17. ^ "CORRIE BRUCE: I'M BROKE - UK & World News - News". People.co.uk. 2009-01-04. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  18. ^ "BRUCE JONES: I used to be in Weatherfield ...now I live in A FIELD - UK & World News - News". People.co.uk. 2009-09-13. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  19. ^ "Ex-Corrie star Bruce Jones is "sleeping on floors" | Unreality TV". Primetime.unrealitytv.co.uk. 2010-05-16. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  20. ^ Mahoney, John (2011-09-25). "Simply The Best 7 Days A Week :: News :: Hard-up former Corrie star Bruce Jones loses his home". Daily Star. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  21. ^ "Coronation Street star Bruce Jones reveals how his battle against depression and drink has driven him to the brink of suicide - Mirror Online". Mirror.co.uk. 2012-06-17. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  22. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]