Richard Wilson (Scottish actor)
Wilson in 2007.
|Born||Ian Carmichael Wilson
9 July 1936
|Occupation||Actor, theatre director, broadcaster|
|Notable work||See below|
|Television||Only When I Laugh
One Foot in the Grave
Born and Bred
Britain's Best Drives
Richard Wilson OBE (born Ian Carmichael Wilson; 9 July 1936) is a Scottish actor, theatre director and broadcaster, best known for playing Victor Meldrew in the popular BBC sitcom One Foot in the Grave and for playing Gaius, the court physician of Camelot, in the hit BBC drama Merlin.
Life and career
Wilson was born in Greenock, Scotland. He studied science in Greenock, and did National Service with the Royal Army Medical Corps, serving in Singapore. He worked in a laboratory at Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow as a research scientist before switching to acting at age 27. He trained at RADA and then appeared in repertory theatres in Edinburgh (Traverse Theatre), Glasgow and Manchester (Stables Theatre).
Wilson has worked for the gay rights campaign group Stonewall and the Labour Party. He is one of the Patrons for Scottish Youth Theatre, Scotland's National Theatre "for and by" young people. Wilson is also a long-time supporter of the Sense charity and in 2007 hosted the Annual Sense Awards, honouring excellence in both deafblind people and those who work with them. He is also one of the Honorary Patrons of the London children's charity, Scene & Heard.
The narration of "The Man Who Called Himself Jesus", from Strawbs' eponymous first album, was performed by Wilson. Owing to the popularity of One Foot In The Grave, Wilson is still hounded by members of the public to say the classic "I don't believe it" catchphrase of the character Victor Meldrew – this was parodied when he appeared as himself in an episode of Father Ted.
At the height of his One Foot in the Grave fame, he appeared in an advertisement for I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! in character, as Victor Meldrew. In it, he's confronted by a supermarket taste-test. In a break from tradition, he simply chose to believe that the product was indeed butter. His famous catchphrase, "I don't believe it!", was a response to one of the staff conducting the test, played by James Corden, eating all the crumpets on offer.
In March 2011, Wilson presented an edition of the Channel 4 current affairs programme Dispatches entitled Train Journeys From Hell, with transport journalist Christian Wolmar highlighting the failings of the British rail network.
Wilson was a supporter of his local football club, Greenock Morton, but he has come to lend greater support to English club Manchester United. He is a patron of the Manchester United Supporters Trust. Wilson has been a campaigner for gay rights for many years, and he came out as gay in a Daily Mail interview in March 2013.
- The Sweeney episode "The bigger they are" as DCI Anderson (1978)
- Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em episode "Wendy House" as The Insurance Man (1978)
- Only When I Laugh (1979-1982) as Gordon Thorpe
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes episode The Red Headed League as Duncan Ross (1985)
- Andy Robson (1982–83)
- Born and Bred
- Have I Got News for You
- The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends as the voice of Mr. McGregor (1992)
- Doctor Who – episodes "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances" (2005) – Doctor Constantine
- Duck Patrol
- Hot Metal (1988)
- Selling Hitler (1991)
- Under The Hammer (1994) (as Ben Glazier)
- Lord of Misrule (1996) (as Bill Webster). Filmed at Fowey in Cornwall
- King of Fridges (2004) (as Frank)
- Father Ted – episode "The Mainland" as himself
- Inspector Morse – episode "Absolute Conviction"
- Mr. Bean – episode "The Trouble With Mr. Bean" as The Dentist
- Gulliver's Travels
- My Good Woman
- Life As We Know It
- Normal Service
- One Foot in the Grave (1990–2000) as Victor Meldrew
- High Stakes
- A Sharp Intake of Breath
- Tutti Frutti
- Star Portraits with Rolf Harris – celebrity "sitter" in one episode of the portraiture contest.
- Jeffrey Archer: The Truth as Duke of Edinburgh
- Crown Court (1970s) – as a barrister.
- Thank God You're Here
- Merlin – (all 65 episodes + 2 children in need specials) as Gaius
- Demons – as Father Simeon
- Britain's Best Drives
- The F Word – Appeared as himself in the middle of the first season.
- Would I Lie to You?
- New Tricks (2009) – as Father Bernárd in episode "The War Against Drugs"
- A Harlot's Progress (2006)
- Confessions from the Underground-Narrated (2012)
- All Aboard East Coast Trains -Narrated (2013)
- Richard Wilson on the Road (2015)
- A Dry White Season
- A Passage to India
- Carry On Columbus
- Fellow Traveller
- How to Get Ahead in Advertising
- Prick Up Your Ears
- Soft Top Hard Shoulder
- The Man Who Knew Too Little
- Women Talking Dirty
- Whoops Apocalypse
- Gnomeo & Juliet
- Twelfth Night, as Malvolio – Royal Shakespeare Company
- Whipping it Up by Steve Thompson – Bush Theatre, Ambassadors Theatre
- What the Butler Saw, as Dr Rance – Royal National Theatre
- Peter Pan, as Mr Darling/Captain Hook – Royal Festival Hall
- Waiting for Godot, as Vladimir – Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh and Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
- Uncle Vanya, as Vanya – Traverse Theatre
- A Little Hotel on the Side by Georges Feydeau – Theatre Royal, Bath, August 2013
- Krapp's Last Tape, as Krapp, Sheffield Crucible Theatre, 25 June - 19 July 2014
- The Woman Before by Roland Schimmelpfennig – Royal Court, May 2005
- East Coast Chicken Supper by Martin J Taylor – The Traverse, 2005
- Rainbow Kiss by Simon Farquhar – Royal Court, April 2006
- A Wholly Healthy Glasgow by Ian Heggie – The Royal Exchange Theatre, Edinburgh International Festival, The Royal Court, 1988/89
- Smack Family Robinson by Richard Bean – Kingston upon Thames, March and April 2013
- Blasted by Sarah Kane – Sheffield Studio, 2015
- J. Roose-Evans, One Foot on the Stage: The Biography of Richard Wilson
- "Richard Wilson – Drama Faces". BBC. Retrieved 28 December 2008.
- Ahad, Nick (3 July 2011). "The big interview: Richard Wilson". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
- Young, Kevin (20 April 2010). "Election 2010: Political celebrities – then and now". BBC News. Retrieved 20 April 2010.
- "Scottish Youth Theatre website". Scottishyouththeatre.org. 26 March 2008. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
- "Celebrity supporters of Sense". Listal.com. 24 June 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
- "Scene & Heard – Who We Are". sceneandheard.org. 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
- "Strawbs website". Strawbsweb.co.uk. 22 November 1968. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
- "One Foot on the Stage on Vialibri". Vialibri.net. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
- "Delay in Labour braille and audio manifesto criticised". BBC News (BBC). 15 April 2010. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
- "Train Journeys From Hell". Dispatches (Channel 4). 21 March 2011. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
- Dugan, Emily (21 November 2010). "Richard Wilson: Retire? He doesn't believe in it". The Independent (UK: Independent Print). Retrieved 11 June 2011.
- "Richard Wilson". joinmust.org. Manchester United Supporters Trust. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
- Rebecca Hardy (2013-03-01). "Richard Wilson: 'I don't mind people saying I'm gay because I am' | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-01-11.
- Richard Wilson at the Internet Movie Database
- The Official Richard Wilson Archive
- Exclusive Interview with Richard Wilson
|Rector of the University of Glasgow