Bruce Jones (actor)
Jones in September 2007
Ian Royston Jones
24 January 1953
(m. 1971; div. 1982)
Ian Royston Jones (born 24 January 1953), better known as Bruce Jones, is an English actor. He is best known for his role as taxi driver Les Battersby in Coronation Street. He left the role in 2007.
Jones was born to Bruce and Irene Jones in Collyhurst, Manchester. He was brought up in a typical working-class household before he went to live with his grandmother in Wales where he joined his school drama group at the age of eleven and dreamt of becoming an actor.
Jones' first introduction into show business was when he formed a comedy duo with a friend, and went to work on the club circuit as "Clarke and Jones" for many years. He began using his father's name as his stage name.
It was during this time that Jones decided he would like to try his hand at acting, and his first big break came in 1993 when he was cast as the lead role of Bob Williams in the feature film Raining Stones by director Ken Loach. The film went on to receive great critical acclaim and won the Evening Standard Awards for Best Film and Best Screenplay. Jones was presented with the European Actors Award.
In 1995, Jones had a role as a prostitute's client in Band of Gold. In 1997, he had a small part in the hit film The Full Monty. He played one of the males who auditioned to be one of the strippers, and he received the Stage Actor's Guild Award, (SAG). He also appeared in the Shane Meadows film Twenty Four Seven with actor Bob Hoskins in 1997, before joining the cast of the ITV soap Coronation Street; playing the role of Les Battersby.
Over the following years, Bruce gained numerous credits for film and television productions including: Heartbeat, A Touch of Frost, Roughnecks, and Hillsborough. Jones appeared as Dean Martin in Celebrity Stars in Your Eyes, Mr. Bumble in Oliver for Children in Need and the Robber in Granada's televised Christmas pantomime Cinderella. He also made several television appearances in game shows and chat shows.
In March 2007, he was suspended from Coronation Street after allegedly getting drunk with an undercover reporter, making inappropriate comments and revealing future storylines. It was confirmed on 30 May 2007 that he would not be returning to the show.
After Coronation Street
He performed stand-up comedy routines in Benidorm. On 23 March 2008, Jones featured in Celebrity Wife Swap with Sinitta. Jones played Mick the Manager in the film Souled Out, and also appeared on the TV programme The Dark Side of Fame with Piers Morgan.
Jones took part in the BBC One show Famous, Rich and Homeless, which was broadcast in June 2009. He was joined by four other celebrities who would leave their life of fame and fortune for the cold and lonely streets of London. Jones was clearly the most affected by the experience, regularly seen breaking into tears and considering pulling out of the programme. In a state of frustration, desperation and anger, Jones ranted to the camera expressing his support to the idea of returning the death penalty to the UK, in order to allow money to be freed to aid the homeless and the elderly. In his rant, Jones said that "rippers" should all be hanged in order for taxpayers' money to be spent on the homeless and pensioners instead. He added that he would "smile at him" as it happened and referenced his horrific discovery of one the Yorkshire Ripper's victims, describing himself as a victim.
In November 2009, Jones appeared in Celebrity Come Dine With Me. The competition also featured presenter Yvette Fielding, Atomic Kitten member Natasha Hamilton and was won by former Catchphrase host Roy Walker.
He published his ghostwritten autobiography in November 2011.
Jones performed as Captain Hook and Mr. Darling in Peter Pan at the Blackfriars Arts Centre, Boston, Lincolnshire over the 2011 Christmas period. He struggled with this role and was reported to have lost his voice; despite his alcoholism, he continued to drink throughout the run of the show.
In October 2012, Jones commissioned author and playwright Huw Roberts to write a monologue about tackling and recovering from depression. Starring Jones, TALK!! Tackling the Taboo premiered at Theatre Colwyn, Colwyn Bay, North Wales in April 2013.
On 22 August 2013, Jones entered the Celebrity Big Brother house with his on-screen Coronation Street ex-wife, Vicky Entwistle and on 6 September 2013, he was the fourth housemate to be evicted losing to Abz Love, Courtney Stodden, Lauren Harries, Louie Spence and Entwistle.
Return to feature films
By May 2013, Jones had been cast for two new feature films (boxing film The Journeyman and British gangster thriller Looters, Tooters and Sawn-Off Shooters).
In 2004, Jones was awarded the Silver Heart by the Variety Club of Great Britain in acknowledgement of his charity work. On 16 February 2011, Jones made an appearance for the Sir Norman Wisdom tribute at De Montfort Hall in Leicester, raising money for the Roy Castle Fund; he spoke of Wisdom's time on Coronation Street.
Jones married Sue Margaret Bailey on 12 June 1971 at St. Oswald's Church, Collyhurst. The couple had two sons, John and Stephen, and divorced in 1982. In 1984, Jones married Sandra; the couple had two children and lived in Marple.
In 1998, he pleaded guilty to drink driving after being found more than twice over the limit and was banned from driving for three years. By 2000, his alcoholism became so heavy that he spent a period in the celebrity rehab clinic the Priory.
In August 2009, Jones grabbed and repeatedly jerked the steering wheel of his car whilst his wife was driving it on the A55 in North Wales, causing it to swerve. On 19 March 2010 at Mold Crown Court, he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and drink-driving. His wife told the court that he had physically and emotionally abused her for years. On 27 April 2010, the same court sentenced him to eight months imprisonment, suspended for eighteen months.
Jones told The People newspaper in January 2009 that he had blown his £1,000,000 fortune and had not received any offers of work since leaving Coronation Street, and owed £30,000 in taxes. In September 2009, he was living alone in a caravan in North Wales. In May 2010, it was reported that Jones had been made homeless after the bank repossessed his £500,000 Cheshire house in order to pay his large debts, and that he could not afford to go into rehab for his chronic alcoholism.
On 15 July 2011, the bank was forced to repossess his second home, a bungalow in North Wales. Court documents reveal that the Bank of Scotland started proceedings to get back £204,641 in outstanding mortgage debt.
In June 2012, Jones told the Daily Mirror that he had regularly contemplated suicide after losing both his homes. He had been warned by doctors that he would die soon if he does not stop drinking, but said he no longer cared. At the peak of his alcoholism he admitted drinking fifteen pints a day.
In June 2015, Jones appeared in a documentary about celebrities who have hit hard times and now rely on welfare. The programme was called "Celebs on Benefits". He was shown to be in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) and subsidies for rent payments.
|1997||A Touch of Frost||Tommy Dunstan|
|Eight Hours from Paris||Male inspector|
|The Full Monty||Reg|
|Twenty Four Seven||Tim's Dad|
|1997–2007||Coronation Street||Les Battersby (1018 episodes)|
|2010||Soulboy||Mike the Manager|
|2014||Looters, Tooters and Sawn-Off Shooters||Roy|
|Cream||Major Ron Harris|
|Duty of Care||Major Ron Harris|
|The Offer||Michael Bishop|
|2018||Finders Keepers||Roy Smiley|
|2019||The Witching Hour||Marvin La'Fantome|
|2020||Breach of the Peace||Vince|
|2021||Cold Sun||Colin Rye|
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- "Coronation Street actor suspended". BBC News. 27 March 2007. Retrieved 17 November 2010.
- "TV review: Rich, Famous and Homeless (BBC One)". The Telegraph. 26 June 2009.
- "Episode 16 - Celebrity Come Dine with Me". Channel 4.
- "DICK WHITTINGTON CONTEMPORARY URBAN CENTRE". Contemporary Urban Centre. 23 December 2009. Archived from the original on 22 March 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
- "Gritish Films - Down Our Way Teaser Trailer - Bruce Jones". YouTube. 17 November 2009.
- "Les Battersby actor, Bruce Jones, sacked from panto!". heatworld.com. 21 December 2010. Archived from the original on 29 September 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- Sue Carr (21 December 2010). "Oh no it wasn't: Bruce Jones denies he was to blame for panto being axed | Tameside Advertiser". menmedia.co.uk. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- "Coronation Street Blog: Bruce Jones reveals Corrie secrets in autobiography". Coronationstreetupdates.blogspot.com. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- Bernard Bale (3 January 2012). "The Stage / Reviews / Peter Pan". Thestage.co.uk. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- Hammond, Laura (23 December 2011). "Video: Ex-Coronation Street star Bruce Jones on life in Boston and his panto role - Arts & Leisure". Boston Standard. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- "Wales Online article". Wales Online. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
- "Former Corrie star Bruce Jones to appear in new feature film". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
- "A wonderful tribute to the late, great Sir Norman Wisdom". De Montfort Hall.
- "Tribute to Sir Norman Wisdom at De Montfort Hall, Leicester". Leicester Mercury.[permanent dead link]
- "Biography". Corrie.net. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- "Stressed Street star in clinic". BBC News. 2 March 2000.
- "Les Battersby actor admits grabbing wheel while wife drove". Inthenews.co.uk. Archived from the original on 30 March 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- Hornby, Mike (18 March 2010). "Coronation Street star Bruce Jones abused me for years, says wife". The Independent. London.
- "Bruce Jones, Coronation Street star, sentenced for dangerous driving". The Daily Telegraph. London. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- "CORRIE BRUCE: I'M BROKE". People.co.uk. 4 January 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- "BRUCE JONES: I used to be in Weatherfield ...now I live in A FIELD". People.co.uk. 13 September 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- "Ex-Corrie star Bruce Jones is "sleeping on floors" | Unreality TV". Primetime.unrealitytv.co.uk. 16 May 2010. Archived from the original on 4 October 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- Mahoney, John (25 September 2011). "Hard-up former Corrie star Bruce Jones loses his home". Daily Star. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- "Coronation Street star Bruce Jones reveals how his battle against depression and drink has driven him to the brink of suicide - Mirror Online". Mirror.co.uk. 17 June 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.