Michael French

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For other people named Michael French, see Michael French (disambiguation).
Michael French
Born Michael Clark
(1962-09-17) 17 September 1962 (age 51)
Bow, London, England
Occupation Actor
Years active 1993–present

Michael French (born Michael Clark, 17 September 1962) is an English actor, known for his roles as David Wicks in EastEnders, and consultant Nick Jordan in Casualty and former cardiothoracic registrar in its spin-off series Holby City.

Early life[edit]

French (took surname to get an Equity Card), was born Michael Clark to parents David (a greengrocer) and Sheila in East London, but grew up in Theydon Bois, Essex.[1] where he attended Theydon Bois County Primary School. He was soon appearing in school productions, while weekends and evenings were spent at dancing classes and rehearsals for shows put on by the local drama club.[1] He then attended West Hatch Technical High School in Chigwell, Essex where he was a main contributor to school plays.

At the age of 20, French landed a job as an entertainer ("blue coat") at the Holiday Club International in Majorca.[1]

When he returned to Britain, at the age of 22, French got his first acting break in the musical Godspell at the Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford, London. Bit parts on stage followed, including playing the Genie in Aladdin in a Christmas pantomime.[1]

He spent the next three years touring in small productions, before becoming disillusioned with his lack of success and taking a job as an Air Steward for British Airways.[1] However, he was unable to lose his desire to act and French quit his job as an air steward with British Airways and began taking acting lessons. He was trained at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and graduated in 1992.[1]

Career[edit]

After graduating from acting school, French was primarily employed in West End musicals. He was in West Side Story, Chicago, Joseph — playing romantic juvenile leads — and then played Javert in Les Misérables.[2]

French became well known for appearing in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. French was spotted by an EastEnders casting agent whilst on stage in the musical Les Misérables.[3] He was subsequently offered a role in the popular soap opera and first appeared in 1993, playing the womanising car-dealer, David Wicks. French quit the soap in 1996. 19 million viewers tuned in to watch the character's exit from Albert Square.[4]

He went on to appear as Nick Jordan in Casualty in 1998 and 2005, and its sister programme, Holby City. He also appeared in The Fabulous Bagel Boys (2001); as Gary Lescott in Dalziel and Pascoe (2005); Jeff Slade in Crime Traveller (1997) and Tom Gilder in Born and Bred (2001–2004).

Among his other stage credits include Art (2000) as Marc and Sacred Heart (1999) as Jerry. He also replaced John Barrowman as Billy Flynn in the London run of Chicago from 13 December 2004,[5] but resigned suddenly on 2 May 2005 amid rumours of differences with his co-star Brooke Shields.[6]

On 13 May 2008 it was confirmed French would be returning to his role of Nick Jordan for a third stint in Casualty. French returned to EastEnders as David Wicks in 2012 after more than 15 years away for the departure of Pam St Clement, who played his on-screen mother, Pat Butcher. His return was aired on New Year's Day 2012 and he again departed the soap on 13 January 2012. French left Casualty in early February 2013.[7] French returned to EastEnders as David Wicks from the episode broadcast on 26 September 2013 for what show bosses said would be a fairly short stint. He left the soap once again during the episode broadcast on 30 May 2014. [8]

Filmography[edit]

Year Show Role Notes
1993–1996, 2012, 2013–2014 EastEnders David Wicks Series regular
1997 Crime Traveller Detective Jeff Slade 8 part series
1998 Casualty Nick Jordan Series Regular
1999–2000 Holby City Series regular
2001 The Fabulous Bagel Boys DS Alexander Murchison
The Gentleman Thief Ellis Bride
2004 The Afternoon Play Hardy Rose 1 episode: Sons, Daughters and Lovers
2001–2005 Born and Bred Dr. Tom Gilder Series regular
2005 Casualty@Holby City Nick Jordan 2 episodes: Deny Thy Father (Parts 1&2)
2006 Holby City Recurring; 16 episodes
Dalziel and Pascoe Gary Lescott 1 episode: Wrong Place, Wrong Time
2008—2013 Casualty Nick Jordan Series regular
2010 Holby City 1 episode: Downstairs, Upstairs

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Sutton, Caroline (17 March 1996). "French connection". Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  2. ^ ""People would shout 'We love you'. But I didn't like myself". Evening Standard. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Drama faces: Michael French actor profile", BBC. URL last accessed on 2007-02-13.
  4. ^ "FRENCH AND JOHNSTON; PARTNERS IN TIME", Sunday Mirror. URL last accessed on 2007-02-13.
  5. ^ "Michael French Resigns From London", Playbill. URL last accessed on 2006-02-11.
  6. ^ "and co-star isn't a fan either", Evening Standard. URL last accessed on 2007-02-13.
  7. ^ "Role is deja vu for French". The Sun Online. 13 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-13. 
  8. ^ "EastEnders: Michael French leaving David Wicks role". Digital Spy. 13 May 2008. Retrieved 2014-06-01. 

External links[edit]