Blake Ritson

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Blake Ritson
Blake Ritson.PNG
Blake Ritson at New York Comic-Con (2014)
Blake Adam Ritson

(1978-01-14) 14 January 1978 (age 43)
London, England
Years active1996–present
Partner(s)Hattie Morahan

Blake Adam Ritson (born 14 January 1978)[1] is an English actor and director.

Early life[edit]

Blake was born on 24 February 1978 in London and attended the Dolphin School in Reading, Berkshire until 1993, before going to St Paul's School in West London on an academic scholarship. He then attended Jesus College, Cambridge,[2] where he studied English and Medieval Italian, graduating in 2000.[3] While a student he acted on both stage and screen,[4] playing Paul Etheridge in White Chameleon, Fleance in Macbeth, and Augustus in Tom Stoppard's Arcadia (1996) at the National Theatre in productions directed by Richard Eyre and Trevor Nunn.[3]


Ritson is best known in recent years for playing King Edward III in the TV miniseries World Without End (2012), the Duke of Kent in Upstairs Downstairs (2010–2012), Mr Elton in the 2009 BBC adaptation of Emma, Edmund Bertram in the 2007 ITV adaptation of Mansfield Park,[5] Giles Vicary in the BBC series Red Cap and for portraying sidekick Robert Presley in A Touch of Frost.[6] He also played the part of Justin in The League of Gentlemen, Idek in God on Trial, and the comic lead in For Elsie, an Oscar-winning short film, which he also co-produced. He also portrayed the main antagonist in David Goyer’s Da Vinci’s Demons (2013).

In 2013, Ritson appeared as Colonel Brandon in Helen Edmundson's BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility.[7] in 2020, he starred in the Big Finish reboot of cult adventure series Adam Adamant Lives!.[8] He had lent his voice to several other productions for the company.

As director[edit]

Ritson writes and directs with his brother, Dylan.[9] The brothers first directed the short film Out of Time. Starring Mark Heap and Raquel Cassidy, the film won the Global Audience Award at the first CON-CAN Movie Festival[10] and was runner up at Minimalen and the Berlin Film Festival. It also screened at the London, São Paulo and Dresden film festivals. Their second short film, More More More, starring The League of Gentlemen's Mark Gatiss, was a runner-up in the Turner Classic Movies Competition. Their third film, shot in 2009, was entitled Love Hate, and starred Ben Whishaw and Hayley Atwell. It was chosen for the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Palm Springs Film Festival, London BFI Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Foyle, Omaha, Encounters, Berkshire International Film Festival, Sofia Film Fest (Bulgaria), Tofifest International Film Festival (Poland), West Hollywood International, LA Shorts Fest and Short Shorts Film Festival (Japan). It won the Jury Award at Palm Springs International Shortsfest and won the Best International Short award at Cinema St. Louis Film Festival.

The Ritson brothers have also shot a fourth short film, Good Boy, starring Jessica Hynes (née Stevenson), Reece Shearsmith, Nicholas Burns, Joanna Page and Blake Ritson's fiancée Hattie Morahan.[11]

The Ritson Brothers were selected for the front cover of Screen International's Stars of Tomorrow 2009.

Personal life[edit]

Ritson is engaged to actress Hattie Morahan, whom he met at Cambridge University. They have a daughter, Amity, born in August 2016 and are living in North London. Ritson is the brother of Dylan Ritson, with whom he directs and writes.

Ritson played the banjolele on Douglas Hodge's 2006 album Cowley Road Songs,[12] which was recorded in four days at the Blue Moon Studios in Banbury. He describes the banjolele as "a hybrid instrument between a ukulele and a banjo; teamed up with the gazoo it’s a winning combination."[3]

Selected credits[edit]


Year Film Role Notes
1996 Breaking the Code Christopher Morcom TV
Different for Girls Young Prentice
1997 Knight School Sir Roger de Courcey TV (2 episodes)
1999 Shooting the Past Nick TV
Titus Mutius
2000 The League of Gentlemen Justin Smart TV (2 episodes)
2001 London's Burning Dermot TV (2 episodes)
Me Without You Tim
Urban Gothic Dave Matthews TV (1 episode: "The End")
Red Cap Lt. Giles Vicary TV
2002 A Box Delivery Boy Short
The Cicerones Guide 1 'Foreign' Short
AKA Alexander Gryffoyn
2003 Adventure Inc. Byron Haycroft TV (1 episode: "Angel of St. Edmunds")
Red Cap Giles Vicary TV (12 episodes)
2004 Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King Angelo Voice
2005 If... Ben Swales TV (1 episode: "If...We Stopped Giving Aid to Africa")
Strauss: The Waltz King Older Johann Strauss II TV
The Bill Gavin Murray TV (1 episode: "374")
2006 The Romantics Percy Bysshe Shelley TV
Casualty Daniel Tasker TV (1 episode: "Worlds Apart")
The Inspector Lynley Mysteries Graham Marshall TV (1 episode: "Chinese Walls")
Killzone: Liberation Colonel Cobar Voice
A Touch of Frost D.C. Robert Presley TV (1 episode: "Endangered Species")
2007 Mansfield Park Edmund Bertram TV
The Commander: The Devil You Know John Littlewood TV
2008 God on Trial Idek TV
RocknRolla Johnny Sloane
2009 Love Hate Rob Short
Emma Mr. Elton TV (4 episodes)
Dead Man Running Jarvis
2010–2012 Upstairs Downstairs The Duke of Kent TV (8 episodes)
2011 The Crimson Petal and the White Bodley TV (3 episodes)
El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron Enoch Voice
For Elsie Glenn Short
2012 World Without End King Edward III TV (8 episodes)
2013–2015 Da Vinci's Demons Girolamo Riario TV (16 episodes)
2015 Bricks William Short
2016 Indian Summers Charlie Havistock TV (10 episodes)
Hooten & the Lady Yannaras TV
2018 Krypton Brainiac TV
2019 Endeavour (TV series) Gabriel Van Horne TV
2021 The Gilded Age (TV series) Oscar Van Rhijn TV (10 episodes)


  • Rope – Brandon (Almeida, dir. Roger Michell)
  • Tender – (Donmar Warehouse, dir. Seth Sklar-Heyn)
  • Violet – Mio (Royal Court, dir. Indu Rubasingham)
  • Love Is Blind – Manolito Trevelez (Royal Court, dir. Nathalie Abrahami)
  • The Importance of Being Earnest – Jack Worthing (ADC Theatre, 1999, dir. Phillip Breen)
  • Arcadia – Septimus (Bristol Old Vic, dir. Rachel Kavanaugh)
  • HappyTime Park – Xavier (Riverside Studios, devised and dir. Dylan Ritson)
  • In Praise of Love – Joey (Theatre Royal Bath, dir. Deborah Bruce)
  • Arcadia – Augustus (Theatre Royal Haymarket, – National Theatre/Michael Codron – dir. Trevor Nunn)
  • Macbeth – Fleance (National Theatre, Olivier, dir. Richard Eyre)
  • White Chameleon – Paul Etheridge (National Theatre, Cottesloe, dir. Richard Eyre)
  • The Luke Files – Bartholomew (RT Productions, dir. Paul McKusker)
  • Romeo and Juliet – Benvolio (Immersive, dir. Mark Rosenblatt)

Radio and audio drama[edit]

  • The War of the Worlds – Robert (BBC Radio 4, dir. Marc Beeby)
  • Publish and be Damn'd – Argyle (BBC Radio 4, Ellen Dryden)
  • The Go-Between – Hugh Trimingham (BBC Radio 3, Matt Thompson)
  • Gods And Monsters – Hurmzid (Big Finish, Ken Bentley)
  • The Diary of Samuel Pepys – Edward Montagu (BBC Radio 4, Kate McAll)
  • Doctor Who – Foe from the Future – Shibac (Big Finish, Ken Bentley)
  • Freud: The Case Histories: The Wolf Man – Sergei Pankejeff (BBC Radio 4, Nadia Molinari)
  • Richard II – Henry Bolingbroke (BBC Radio 4, Jessica Dromgoole and Jeremy Mortimer)
  • Money – Evelyn (BBC Radio 3, Samuel West)
  • The American Senator – John Morton (BBC Radio 4, Tracey Neale)
  • Poetry Please – Various Roles (BBC Radio 4, Christine Hall)
  • Death in Genoa – Dr. Carlo Bazzani (Independent Drama, written Thomas Wright)
  • The Absolutist – Reader (BBC Book at Bedtime, dir. Heather Larmour)
  • Saint Joan – Charles (BBC Radio 3, dir. Jonquil Panting)
  • Sunk – Bert Selphin (BBC Radio 4, dir. Gemma McMullan)
  • Leverage – David (BBC Radio 4, dir. Sasha Yevtushenko)
  • A Month in the Country – Moon (BBC Radio 4, dir. David Hunter)
  • The Far Pavilions – Ash (BBC Radio 4, dir. Jessica Dromgoole and Marc Beeby)
  • With Great Pleasure – Reader (BBC Radio 4, dir. Christine Hall)
  • The Ordeals of Sherlock Holmes – Christopher Thrale (Big Finish, Ken Bentley)
  • Aunts Aren't Gentlemen – Reader (BBC Radio 4, Mark Beeby & Emma Harding)
  • Billions – Mark (BBC Radio 4, Jonquil Panting)
  • The Barchester Chronicles – Crosbie (BBC Radio 4, Gary Brown)
  • The Shadow of Dorian Gray – John Gray (BBC Radio 4, Abigail Le Fleming)
  • Bonnie Prince Charlie – Charles Edward Stuart (BBC Radio 4, Sasha Yevtushenko)
  • The Trespasser's Guide to the Classics – Dorian Gray (BBC Radio 4, Sasha Yevtushenko)
  • Artist Descending a Staircase – Beauchamp (BBC Radio 3, Gordon House)
  • Two on a Tower – Swithin St.Cleeve (BBC Radio 4, dir. Stefan Escreet)
  • Vincent Price and the Horror of the English Blood Beast – (BBC Radio 4, dir. Sam Hoyle)
  • The Wings of the Dove – (BBC Radio 4, dir. Nadia Molinari)
  • The Killing – (BBC Radio 4, dir. Sasha Yevtushenko)
  • The Man Who Shot the 60s – (BBC4, dir. Linda Brusasco)
  • The Embrace – Dan (BBC Radio 4, dir. Nadia Molinari)
  • Sense and Sensibility – Colonel Brandon – (BBC Radio 4, adapted by Helen Edmundson)
  • Six Windows of the Muslim World – (Crescent Films, dir. Ned Williams)
  • Adam Adamant Lives! Volume 01: A Vintage Year for Scoundrels – Adam Adamant (Big Finish, written by Guy Adams)

Voiceover credits[edit]


  1. ^ "All England & Wales, Birth Index, 1916–2005 results for Blake Adam Ritson". Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  2. ^ "Blake and Dylan Ritson (Writer-Directors)". PFD. Archived from the original on 6 November 2007.
  3. ^ a b c "Congregations of the Regent House on 29 June, 30 June, and 1 July 2000: Jesus College". Cambridge University Reporter. 12 July 2000.
  4. ^ "Blake Ritson, Class of 1991". Dolphin School. Archived from the original on 11 May 2008.
  5. ^ Company Pictures: Mansfield Park Archived 18 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ ITV Home[dead link]
  7. ^ "BBC – Sense And Sensibility – Media Centre".
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Blake Ritson & Dylan Ritson". Preview Room. Archived from the original on 19 October 2006.
  10. ^ "CON-CAN Movie Festival, Internet Short Movie Festival". Archived from the original on 10 December 2005.
  11. ^ Jones, Alice (28 July 2008). "Modern miss: Hattie Morahan is ditching bonnets in favour of cutting-edge theatre work". The Independent. London.
  12. ^ " – is for sale (Doug Hodge)". Cite uses generic title (help)

External links[edit]