|Born||Neil Joshua Pearson
27 April 1959
London, England, UK
|Television||Waterloo Road (2014-)|
Neil Joshua Pearson (born 27 April 1959) is an English actor best known for his work on television.
Pearson grew up in Battersea, London, the son of a panel beater, who left home when he was five, and a legal secretary, and was educated at Woolverstone Hall School, Suffolk, a boarding school, where he first learnt to act, and at the Central School of Speech and Drama.
After graduating, he made his first television appearance in 1982 and starred alongside Leonard Rossiter in Joe Orton's play Loot at the Lyric Theatre in London in 1984; Rossiter died during a performance while in his dressing room. Pearson then became an acquaintance of Hat Trick Productions and won a part in their historical sitcom Chelmsford 123. He also appeared with Hat Trick executive Jimmy Mulville in That's Love. Pearson narrated Colin Wyatt's animated series The Poddington Peas in 1986.
It was in the roles of associate editor and office lothario, Dave Charnley, in the sitcom Drop the Dead Donkey - another Hat Trick show - and of Detective Superintendent Tony Clark in the thriller Between the Lines, that he made his greatest impact on the viewing public.
Since then he has appeared in such varied roles as Dr Jameson in Rhodes (1998), Jack Green in the children's serial The Magician's House (1999), Trevor Heslop in Trevor's World of Sport (2003) and John Diamond in A Lump in My Throat (2003). He has also been in several films, including The Secret Rapture (1993), Fever Pitch (1997) and Bridget Jones's Diary (2001). He appeared in the 2006 Radio Four series Vent as Ben. He played the choir master Michael Caddick in the BBC drama All the Small Things in 2009. He also appeared in an episode of Midsomer Murders, and played a prominent role in an episode of Death in Paradise in 2013. In the Inspector George Gently episode Goodbye to China (2011), Pearson acts as a former Sergeant of DCI Gently, that now has risen in rank above his former master.
He is strongly identified with the British left - having made a party election broadcast for the Labour Party for the 1994 European Elections, though later prominently supported Ken Livingstone when Livingstone ran as an independent candidate for Mayor of London in 2000. For many years he has also supported the National Council for One Parent Families, having written about his family background for the organisation, and also raised £32,000 for the charity on a celebrity edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.
Pearson was a judge on Channel 4's The Play's The Thing, which sought to find a play written by an unknown writer for a run in the West End. The winning play, written by Kate Betts, was called On the Third Day and opened at the New Ambassadors Theatre in London in June 2006. Pearson appeared in a touring revival of Sir Peter Hall's production of Harold Pinter's Old Times in 2006, and in a production of Tom Stoppard's play Arcadia at the Duke of York's Theatre, London, in 2009.
Pearson is the author of a book on the Manchester-born publisher Jack Kahane, Obelisk: A History of Jack Kahane and the Obelisk Press. He is a collector of rare drama scripts and in 2011 he opened an online bookshop specialising in theatrical material.
Pearson is also a fan of Tottenham Hotspur and regularly attends home games - even though in the film Fever Pitch he plays a man who takes his son to watch Arsenal. The boy then learns that the Spurs are a lot of bad things from other attenders. In 2007 he assisted with fundraising to renovate Bristol Old Vic Theatre.
- Smith, Julia Llewellyn (Wednesday, October 19, 1994). "`I think I'm good at what I do. You don't go far if you don't' - Neil Pearson". The Times (London). p. 15.
- "Neil Pearson". National Council for One Parent Families. Retrieved 14 November 2009.
- Rosenthal, Tom (10 October 2007). "A very British pornographer". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 14 November 2009.
- Brown, Mark (3 December 2012). "How we used to laugh: rare radio scripts to be published". The Guardian.
- Flusfeder, David (15 September 2007). "Social taboos and clumsy personae". Telegraph Blogs. Retrieved 14 November 2009.
- "Poker Tournament Results: World Series of Poker Europe: WSOP No Limit Hold'em Championship (Day 3)". Pokerpages.com. 12 September 2007. Retrieved 14 November 2009.