Ken Stott

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Ken Stott
Born Kenneth Campbell Stott
(1954-10-19) 19 October 1954 (age 61)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Occupation Actor
Years active 1974–present

Kenneth Campbell "Ken" Stott (born 19 October 1954) is a Scottish actor, particularly known in the United Kingdom for his many roles in television. He is best known for his roles as the eponymous title character in the crime fiction-mystery series Rebus (2006–07) and as DCI Red Metcalfe in Messiah (2001–05), and as the dwarf Balin in The Hobbit film trilogy (2012–14), and as Ian Garrett in the 2014 BBC TV mini-series The Missing, and as Edward 'Eddie' McKenna in the Scottish BBC Mini-series Takin' Over The Asylum (1994).

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.


Ken Stott as Balin in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Stott's early work focused on theatre with a notable leading role in the dramatization of Dominic Behan's play about the Northern Ireland troubles 'The Folk Singer; (Belfast Lyric Theatre). 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. His 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 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 marriage, which ended in divorce. He has not remarried.[8] He currently lives with his girlfriend, the artist Nina Gehl.[9] He is a supporter of Heart of Midlothian F.C.[10]


Year Title Role Notes
1977 Secret Army Baroja TV series
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 mini-series: 2 episodes
1988 London's Burning Cyril First episode
1988 For Queen and Country Civil Servant
1990 Your Cheatin' Heart Fraser Boyle TV series: 6 episodes
1993 Elvis and the Colonel: The Untold Story - TV
1993 Anna Lee Bernie Schiller TV
1993 Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life Woland the Knifeman Short film
1993 Being Human Gasper Diez
1994 Takin' Over the Asylum Eddie TV series: 6 episodes
1994 Shallow Grave DI McCall
1996 Saint-Ex Prevot
1996 Silent Witness Sergeant Bob Claire TV series: 2 episodes
1996 A Mug's Game McCaffrey
1996 Rhodes Barney Barnato TV mini-series: 5 episodes
1997 The Boxer Ike Weir
1997 Stone, Scissors, Paper Redfern TV
1997 Fever Pitch Ted, the Headmaster
1999 Dockers Tommy Walton TV
1999 The Debt Collector Gary Keltie
1999 Plunkett & Macleane Chance
1999 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 (a.k.a. Messiah I: The First Killings) DCI Red Metcalfe TV mini-series
2002 Messiah 2: Vengeance is Mine DCI Red Metcalfe TV mini-series
2003 Promoted to Glory Mike TV
2003 The Key Billy TV
2003 I'll Sleep When I'm Dead Turner
2004 Messiah DCI Red Metcalfe TV mini-series
2004 King Arthur Marius Honorius
2004 Spivs Jack
2005 Casanova Dalfonso
2005 Messiah: The Harrowing DCI Red Metcalfe TV mini-series
2005 The Girl in the Café Chancellor
2005 The Mighty Celt Good Joe
2005 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
2008 Hancock and Joan Tony Hancock TV
Scottish BAFTA for Best Acting Performance in Television
Nominated - British Academy Television Award for Best Actor
2010 Toast Dad
2011 The Runaway Joey Pasqualino
2011 One Day Dexter's Dad
2012 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Balin
2013 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Balin
2014 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Balin
2014 Man Up Filming
2014 The Missing Ian Garrett TV series; Pending–British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actor[11]
2015 An Inspector Calls Arthur Birling TV film
2016 Untitled Donald Crowhurst film Filming
2016 Untitled Woody Allen film Filming
2016 War and Peace Bazdeev TV series


  1. ^ "Last night's TV". The Guardian. 7 February 2007. Retrieved 2013-10-19. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Ken Stott Film Reference biography". Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  4. ^'s...-a0158861334
  5. ^ Fulton, Rick (8 December 2005). "Born to be rebus". Daily Record. Retrieved 19 September 2010. 
  6. ^ imdb filmography
  7. ^ Independent newspaper review of the play, 22 April 1996. Accessed 16 January 2015.
  8. ^ "Ken Stott's press interview". Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  9. ^ Black, Claire. "Ken Stott interview: View from the top - The Scotsman". Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  10. ^ "Edinburgh A-list stirred by Scottish Cup final derby". BBC Sport. 14 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  11. ^ Alex Ritman (8 April 2015). "BAFTA TV Awards: Benedict Cumberbatch Gets Third Nomination for 'Sherlock'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 

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