Jason Watkins (actor)

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Jason Watkins
Born (1966-07-30) 30 July 1966 (age 51)
Albrighton, Shropshire, England[1]
Nationality British
Occupation Actor
Years active 1986–present
Spouse(s) Clara Francis
Children Maude Watkins (2011-13), Bessie Watkins, Gilbert Watkins

Jason Watkins (born 30 July 1966 in Albrighton, Shropshire) is a BAFTA award-winning and Olivier Award-nominated stage, film and television actor, best known for playing William Herrick in Being Human, Gavin Strong in Trollied, Simon Harwood in W1A and Gordon Shakespeare in the Nativity film series.

He played the lead role in two-part drama The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, for which he won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor.


Since training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art,[2] he has established himself as a stage actor, and is a member of the National Theatre company.[3]

He was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 2001 (2000 season) for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in A Servant For Two Masters (Young Vic, subsequently transferred to New Ambassadors Theatre).[4]

Other theatre work includes Rafts and Dreams at the Royal Court Theatre, Philistines and Landscape with Weapon (by Joe Penhall) at the National Theatre, London (2007) and A Laughing Matter (by April De Angelis) at the Liverpool Playhouse in 2003 (for which he was hailed as "magnificent" for his portrayal of the actor David Garrick).


Watkins' most prominent television roles have included vampire leader William Herrick in Being Human, crime suspect Jason Buliegh in Conviction, Bradley Stainer in Funland and dog-walking crime witness Francis Cross in Five Days. He played Oswald Cooper in "The Great and the Good" episode of Lewis,[5] Plornish in the 2008 BBC production of Little Dorrit, and Cabbage Patterson in the BBC adaptation of Lark Rise to Candleford. Watkins had a cameo in episode seven of the second series of Life on Mars, as Gene Hunt's dissolute lawyer Colin Merric.[6] In 2006 he played real life pioneering radiologist Ernest Wilson in BBC pilot Casualty 1906. Also in 2006, he played the part of Sir Christopher Hatton in The Virgin Queen, a four part BBC drama about Queen Elizabeth I. He then featured in the second series of the BBC's comedy Psychoville, as Peter Bishop, owner of Hoyti Toyti, an antique shop specialising in toys. Since 2011, he has also appeared in the Sky1 sitcom Trollied as the store manager Gavin. In early 2012 he joined the cast of the BBC drama Prisoners' Wives, appeared as Detective Gilks in Dirk Gently and portrayed a smooth Church of England PR man in Twenty Twelve.

On 11 May 2013 he appeared in the Doctor Who story Nightmare in Silver, written by Neil Gaiman, featuring the Cybermen in their current design.[7]

In 2013, he played an anaesthetist in The Wrong Mans. In 2014, he appeared as Simon Harwood in BBC comedy series W1A. A second series aired in 2015 and a third is being broadcast in 2017.

In 2014, he played the lead role in a two part ITV drama entitled The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, about the innocent initial suspect in the 2010 murder of Joanna Yeates, for which he won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor.

In 2016, Watkins played the role of Pastor Hansford in the four-part ITV drama The Secret, which also starred James Nesbitt. Watkins appeared in two episodes of The Hollow Crown and played the role of Malcolm Turner in the BBC sitcom series Love, Nina. He narrated the Channel 4 documentary series The Job Interview. Watkins appeared as Tony Michaels in an episode of Friday Night Dinner. Watkins was cast as Mr Humphries in the BBC revival of Are You Being Served?, a role previously played by the late John Inman. [8]

In 2017, Watkins plays Solomon Coop, the Private Secretary to the Sovereign, the Prince Regent (later George IV), in BBC One's Taboo. Also on BBC One, Watkins performed as Wilfred Lucas-Dockery, the governor of the prison in the third episode of the BBC's adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's novel Decline and Fall.[9] He played Simon in the second series of ITV drama Safe House in 2017.[10]


Watkins' most prominent film role to date has been the vividly camp gay wedding planner Gregory Hough in the 2006 comedy Confetti. He has also played smaller roles in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Tomorrow Never Dies, The Golden Compass, Wild Child and Nativity! and its follow-up Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger. His son, Freddie, played his pupil in Nativity!.

Personal life[edit]

Watkins is married to jewelry designer Clara Francis. In 2011, their two and a half year old daughter Maude died of sepsis. He dedicated his 2015 BAFTA award to her. The couple have two other children, Bessie and Gilbert. Watkins also has two sons from his first marriage.[2]


Year Ceremony Award Nominated work Result
2001 Olivier Awards[11] "Best Supporting Actor" Jason Watkins – A Servant To Two Masters Nominated
2002 Helen Hayes Awards "Outstanding Lead Actor" Jason Watkins – A Servant of Two Masters Won
2015 British Academy Television Awards[12][13] "Leading Actor" Jason Watkins – The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies Won
"Mini-Series" The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies Won
2016 Royal Television Society Awards "Best Drama Serial"[14] The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies Won



Year Title Role Notes
1993 The Buddha of Suburbia Terry
2006 Blue Murder Episode: "In Deep"
2008 Hotel Babylon Murray Guest role
2009–2012 Being Human William Herrick Recurring role
2010–2012 Dirk Gently DI Gilks Recurring role
2011– Trollied Gavin Strong 6 series (+1 upcoming)
2012 Miranda Dick Twist Episode: "It Was Panning"
2013 Doctor Who Webley Guest role
The Wrong Mans Guest role
2014– W1A Simon Harwood 3 series
2014 The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies Christopher Jefferies Two-part drama
2016 The Secret Pastor Hansford Four-part drama
The Hollow Crown Suffolk Episodes: "Henry VI Part I" and "Henry VI part II"
Love, Nina Malcolm Turner Sitcom series
The Job Interview Himself, narrator Documentary series
Friday Night Dinner Tony Michaels Episode: "The Two Tonys"
Are You Being Served? Mr Humphries[15] TV special
2017 Inside No 9 Kevin Episode: "The Bill"
Taboo Soloman Coop Episodes 2–8
Line of Duty Tim Ifield Season 4
Decline and Fall Governor Wilfred Lucas-Dockery Part 3
Safe House Simon Duke Series 2
Hold the Sunset Roger Upcoming series
Watership Down Captain Orchis (voice) Recurring role


Year Title Role Notes
1988 High Hopes Wayne
1997 Tomorrow Never Dies Principal Warfare Officer
2004 Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason Charlie Parker-Knowles
2006 Confetti Gregory Hough
Housewife, 49 Dr Roger Brierley
2007 The Golden Compass Bolvangar Official
2008 Wild Child Mr Nellist
2009 Nativity! Mr Gordon Shakespeare
2012 Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger Mr Gordon Shakespeare
2014 Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey? Mr Gordon Shakespeare
2017 Hampstead James Smythe
2017 The Children Act Nigel Pauling


  1. ^ Laws, Roz (4 September 2011). "Vampire Jason Watkins reveals his Midland past and mild-mannered life off-screen". Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Woods, Judith (30 April 2015). "Jason Watkins: 'After the death of a child, work has more purpose'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 23 February 2016. 
  3. ^ "Jason Watkins". National Theatre. Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  4. ^ "Jason Watkins". Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  5. ^ "The Great and the Good". 16 March 2008. Retrieved 10 April 2017 – via IMDb. 
  6. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0914327/ Jason Watkins @ IMDB
  7. ^ The Doctor Who Team. "BBC Latest News - Doctor Who - Confirmed for 2013: Cybermen and Stellar Cast". Doctor Who. Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  8. ^ "Are You Being Served? to return to screens for one-off special 30 years after original series finished". The Daily Mail. February 21, 2016. 
  9. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0914327/
  10. ^ "ITV announces brand new season of original event drama Safe House". Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  11. ^ "Olivier Winners 2001". Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  12. ^ Jess Denham (10 May 2015). "Bafta TV Awards 2015: Georgina Campbell and Jason Watkins win Best Actor and Best Actress for hard-hitting dramas". The Independent. Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  13. ^ "Jason Watkins with his late daughter to whom he dedicated his Bafta". Mail Online. 11 May 2015. Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  14. ^ Justin Harp (22 March 2016). "Emmerdale, Doctor Foster, Ant & Dec and Catastrophe win big at the Royal Television Society Awards". Digital Spy. Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  15. ^ "Stars say 'Im Free for remake of TV classic Are You Being Served?". Daily Mail. 19 February 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2016. 

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