Ken Stott

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Ken Stott
Ken Stott.jpg
Stott on 20 April 2014 at the Hobbitcon II convention in Bonn, Germany
Kenneth Campbell Stott

(1954-10-19) 19 October 1954 (age 67)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Years active1974–present
Known for
Nina Gehl
(m. 2016)

Kenneth Campbell Stott (born 19 October 1954) is a Scottish stage, television and film actor who won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 1995 in the play Broken Glass at Royal National Theatre. He portrayed the dwarf Balin in The Hobbit film trilogy (2012–2014).

His most notable roles in UK television include the title character DI John Rebus in the crime fiction-mystery series Rebus (2000–2007) and DCI Red Metcalfe in Messiah (2001–2005). He played Edward 'Eddie' McKenna in the Scottish BBC miniseries Takin' Over The Asylum (1994) co-starring with David Tennant, and Ian Garrett in the 2014 BBC TV mini-series The Missing alongside James Nesbitt.

Early life[edit]

Stott was born in Edinburgh. His mother, Antonia (née Sansica), was a Sicilian lecturer whose own father had previously been a priest.[1][2] His father, David Stott, was a Scottish teacher and educational administrator.[3][4][5] Stott was educated at George Heriot's School. For three years in his youth he was a member of a band called Keyhole, members of which later went on to form the Bay City Rollers.

After attending Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London, Stott began working in the theatre for the Royal Shakespeare Company, but for some years his earnings from acting were minimal and he was forced to support himself by also working as a double glazing salesman. This is echoed in the character he plays in Takin' Over the Asylum.


Stott's early work focused on theatre with a notable leading role in the dramatisation of Dominic Behan's play about the Northern Ireland troubles The Folk Singer (Belfast Lyric Theatre), where he also played the part of Judas in the first regional production of Jesus Christ Superstar directed by Michael Poynor (1973). Stott appeared in small roles in BBC series such as Secret Army (1977), The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare (King Lear, 1982), and Dennis Potter's The Singing Detective (1986). He also featured in an advert for the British COI's "Drinking And Driving Wrecks Lives" campaign, playing a fireman. He eventually began to earn starring roles on television in the 1990s.[6] He created the leading role in The Prince's Play, a translation and adaptation by Tony Harrison of Victor Hugo's Le Roi s'amuse, for the National Theatre, London, 1996.[7]

His highest-profile television roles have included hospital radio DJ Eddie McKenna in BBC Scotland's Takin' Over The Asylum the leading character, DCI Red Metcalfe, in the BBC crime drama series Messiah (BBC One, 2001–05); DI Chappell in ITV police drama The Vice (1999–2003); as a drunk who fantasises about finding redemption by joining the Salvation Army in Promoted to Glory (ITV, 2003); as Adolf Hitler in Uncle Adolf (ITV, 2005) and as a fictional Chancellor of the Exchequer in Richard Curtis's The Girl in the Café (BBC One, 2005). 2006 saw him take over the title character in detective series Rebus, a television adaptation of the Ian Rankin novels which had previously starred John Hannah. In 2008 Stott was nominated for a Scottish BAFTA for his performance as comedian Tony Hancock in BBC Four's Hancock and Joan. He played the father of cookery writer Nigel Slater in the BBC One adaptation of Slater's autobiographical novel Toast, opposite Helena Bonham Carter and Freddie Highmore. In 2015, Stott played Arthur Birling in Helen Edmundson's BBC TV adaptation of J. B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls.

On the big screen, he has tended to play mostly supporting parts, such as DI McCall in Shallow Grave (1994), Ted in Fever Pitch (1997), Marius Honorius in King Arthur (2004), an Israeli arms merchant in Charlie Wilson's War (2007) and Trufflehunter, a badger loyal to Prince Caspian in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008). However, he has had occasional starring roles in the cinema, most notably opposite Billy Connolly and Iain Robertson in The Debt Collector (1999) and Plunkett and Macleane of the same year. Most recently, he has starred as Balin in the live-action adaptation of The Hobbit, and played the role to critical acclaim. Stott played a supporting role as Dexter Mayhew's father in One Day (2011) starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess.

Stott has continued to act on stage, and in 1997 was nominated for Best Actor at the Laurence Olivier Awards for his role in the Yasmina Reza play Art in which had appeared with Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay. In 2008 Stott starred in another West End production of a Reza play, this time God of Carnage, alongside Tamsin Greig, Janet McTeer and Ralph Fiennes at the Gielgud Theatre. He starred in a revival of Arthur Miller's A View From The Bridge at the Duke of York's Theatre in early 2009 and reprised his role of Michael in God of Carnage on Broadway (as a replacement for James Gandolfini) at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre in New York.

He returned to the Duke of York's Theatre in 2016 to play " Sir" (alongside Reece Shearsmith) in Ronald Harwood's The Dresser, to great critical acclaim.

He is a popular choice for voice work, as narrator for series such as Trawlermen, a documentary following North Sea trawlers, and Send in the Dogs, following the work of UK Police Officers and their canine partners.

Personal life[edit]

Stott has a son, David (born 1985), by his first marriage, which ended in divorce. He married his long-time partner the artist Nina Gehl in 2016.[8] Stott is a supporter of Heart of Midlothian, with an irony in that the character portrayed by him, Ian Rankin's most well known character Inspector John Rebus, is portrayed as a Hibernian supporter in the television show.[9]


Year Title Role Notes
1977 Secret Army Baroja Series 1 Episode 4: Child’s Play
1982 King Lear Curan TV film
1983 The Beggar's Opera Jemmy Twitcher TV film
1985 Taggart Dr. MacNaughten TV series: 1 episode
1986 The Singing Detective Uncle John TV miniseries: 2 episodes
1988 London's Burning Cyril First episode
For Queen and Country Civil Servant
1990 Your Cheatin' Heart Fraser Boyle TV series: 6 episodes
1991 All Good Things Lawrence Wilson TV series: 5 episodes
1993 Elvis and the Colonel: The Untold Story TV
Anna Lee Bernie Schiller TV
Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life Woland the Knifeman Short film
Being Human Gasper Diez
1994 Takin' Over the Asylum Eddie McKenna TV series: 6 episodes
Shallow Grave DI McCall
1996 Saint-Ex Prevot
Silent Witness Sergeant Bob Claire TV series: 2 episodes
A Mug's Game McCaffrey
Rhodes Barney Barnato TV miniseries: 5 episodes
1997 The Boxer Ike Weir
Stone, Scissors, Paper Redfern TV
Fever Pitch Ted, the Headmaster
1999 Dockers Tommy Walton TV
The Debt Collector Gary Keltie
Plunkett & Macleane General Chance
Vicious Circle Martin Cahill TV
1999–2003 The Vice DI Pat Chappel TV series: 16 episodes
Nominated–British Academy Television Award for Best Actor
2000 The Miracle Maker Simon Peter Voice only
2001 Messiah DCI Red Metcalfe TV miniseries
2002 Messiah 2: Vengeance is Mine DCI Red Metcalfe TV miniseries
2003 Promoted to Glory Mike TV
The Key Billy TV
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead Frank Turner
2004 Messiah 3:The Promise DCI Red Metcalfe TV miniseries
King Arthur Marius Honorius
Spivs Jack
2005 Casanova Dalfonso
Messiah: The Harrowing DCI Red Metcalfe TV miniseries
The Girl in the Café Chancellor
The Mighty Celt Good Joe
Uncle Adolf Adolf Hitler TV
2006–2007 Rebus DI John Rebus TV series: 10 episodes
2007 Charlie Wilson's War Zvi Rafiah
2008 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Trufflehunter Voice only
Hancock and Joan Tony Hancock TV
Scottish BAFTA for Best Acting Performance in Television
Nominated–British Academy Television Award for Best Actor
2010 Toast Alan Slater TV film
2011 The Runaway Joey Pasqualino
One Day Steven Mayhew
2012 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Balin
2013 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
2014 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Man Up Bert
The Missing Ian Garrett TV series

Nominated–British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actor[10]

2015 An Inspector Calls Arthur Birling TV film
2016 War & Peace Bazdeev TV series
Café Society Marty Dorfman
100 Streets Terence
2017 Fortitude Erling Munk TV series: Season 2
2018 The Mercy Stanley Best
2018 Strike The Boss Animated film; voice only
2021 The Dig Charles Phillips

Awards and nominations[edit]

BAFTA TV Awards[edit]

0 win, 3 nominations

British Academy Television Awards
Year Nominated work Category Result
2001 The Vice 2001 British Academy Television Award for Best Actor Nominated
2009 Hancock and Joan 2009 British Academy Television Award for Best Actor Nominated
2015 The Missing 2015 British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated

BAFTA Scotland Awards[edit]

2 win, 2 nominations

BAFTA Scotland
Year Nominated work Category Result
2009 Hancock and Joan 2009 British Academy Scotland Awards for Best Actor in Television Won
2015 The Missing 2015 British Academy Scotland Awards Best Actor in Television Won

Laurence Olivier Awards[edit]

1 win, 4 nominations

Laurence Olivier Award
Year Nominated work Category Result
1992 The Recruiting Officer at the National Theatre 1992 Laurence Olivier Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
1995 Broken Glass at the National Theatre Lyttelton / Duke of York's 1995 Laurence Olivier Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role Won
1997 Art at the Wyndam Theatre 1997 Laurence Olivier Awards Best Actor in a Lead Role Nominated
2010 A View from the Bridge as Eddie Carbone at the Duke of York's 2010 Laurence Olivier Awards Best Actor in a Lead Role Nominated

Royal Television Society[edit]

0 wins 1 nomination

Royal Television Society
Year Nominated work Category Result
2002 The Vice Royal Television Society Award Best Actor Nominated


  1. ^ Banks-Smith, Nancy (7 February 2007). "Last night's TV". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  2. ^ "Old family scandal reduces Rebus star to tears". The Scotsman. 2007.
  3. ^ "Ken Stott biography". Retrieved 21 September 2010.
  4. ^ "Ken gets a taste of the past". The Daily Record. 3 February 2007.
  5. ^ Fulton, Rick (8 December 2005). "Born to be Rebus". The Daily Record. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  6. ^ "Ken Stott filmography". IMDb.
  7. ^ Taylor, Paul (21 April 1996). "Theatre: The Prince's Play, Royal National Theatre". The Independent. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  8. ^ Black, Claire (20 May 2009). "Ken Stott interview: View from the top". The Scotsman. Retrieved 21 September 2010.
  9. ^ "Edinburgh A-list stirred by Scottish Cup final derby". BBC Sport. 14 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  10. ^ Ritman, Alex (8 April 2015). "BAFTA TV Awards: Benedict Cumberbatch Gets Third Nomination for 'Sherlock'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 8 April 2015.

External links[edit]