Gian Sammarco

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Giancarlo[1] "Gian" Sammarco (born February 1970) is a former child actor best known for playing the title role in the television dramatisations of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ (1985) and its sequel, The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole (1987).

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Northampton, England, he is the son of Jacqueline and Pietro Salvatore Sammarco, Gian Sammarco is one of a large family of Italian descent. He attended Kingsthorpe Upper School (now Kingsthorpe Community College) in that town where he gained seven O-levels and five CSEs.[2] The artistic director of the Royal Theatre in Northampton, Michael Napier Brown, selected Sammarco from 200 boys who auditioned to appear in his first theatre production, The Innocents.[3]


He was among 100 boys auditioned by Thames Television for the role of Adrian Mole, having been suggested by Michael Napier Brown. Napier Brown also recommended another of his discoveries, Lindsey Stagg, also from Northampton, who won the role of Pandora Braithwaite.[3] In 1987 he toured the UK in the play Widow's Weeds by Anthony Shaffer.[4]

Apart from the two series of 'Adrian Mole', Sammarco's other television appearances included an interview on Des O'Connor Tonight (1985), co-presenting the first series of the children's Saturday morning show Get Fresh (1986),[5] played Whizzkid in the 1988 Doctor Who story The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, and the geeky trainspotter in the Press Gang episode "Something Terrible" (1990). His last acting role was in the 1990 children's Indiana Jones-style comedy series, Jackson Pace: The Great Years, alongside Keith Allen and Josie Lawrence.

In August 1990 at Northampton Register Office he married Stephanie Bates, a fan of the Adrian Mole series who had written to him, and with whom he had a son, Jonathan, who was born in 1992.[2] Sammarco gave up acting soon after the birth of his son and trained as a nurse and is now a psychiatric nurse at the Princess Marina Hospital in Northampton.[6] The couple divorced in 1998.[2]

In 1998 he subsequently married Joanne Young, a nursing colleague, and continues to live in Northampton.[3]


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