Kenny Ireland

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Kenny Ireland
Born George Ian Kenneth Ireland
(1945-08-07)7 August 1945
Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, UK[1]
Died 31 July 2014(2014-07-31) (aged 68)
London, England, UK[2]
Occupation Actor, theatre director
Years active 1980–2014[3]
Spouse(s) Marilyn Imrie (divorced)
Meg Poole (1980–2014; his death)
Children 4 step-grandsons 1 step-daughter

George Ian Kenneth "Kenny" Ireland (7 August 1945 – 31 July 2014)[4] was a Scottish actor and theatre director. Ireland was best known to television viewers for his role in Victoria Wood As Seen on TV in the 1980s, and for playing Donald Stewart in Benidorm from 2007 until his death in 2014.


Born in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Ireland had been prominent in the theatre where he spent ten years as director of the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh. When he left the post in 2003 he controversially attacked the Scottish arts establishment for providing "theatre on the cheap" and the Scottish Executive for putting plans for a National Theatre of Scotland on "the back burner".[5] The National Theatre of Scotland was finally launched in 2006. He also appeared in an episode of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet as a journalist. In some early TV appearances (e.g. the BBC's "Five Red Herrings") he was credited as "Ian Ireland".

Ireland's directing credits include Guys & Dolls, A View from the Bridge, Romeo and Juliet, Phaedra, Macbeth, Lovers, The Anatomist, Clay Bull, Mother Courage, Much Ado About Nothing, Of Mice and Men, Private Lives, Oleanna, The Gowk Storm, Waiting for Godot, Dancing at Lughnasa, Oedipus Tyrannos and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

He also appeared in Acorn Antiques, the STV series Taggart, the 1983 film Local Hero, Series 2 of "Auf Wiedersehen Pet" the 1990 series House of Cards as Media tycoon Benjamin Landless starring alongside Ian Richardson as Francis Urquhart, and the David Leland film The Big Man with Liam Neeson. He was also in Heartbeat.

He appeared in the television series Benidorm as swinger Donald Stewart from 2007 until the end of the latest series that aired in early 2014. In June 2014, it was announced that he had brain cancer. His character did not appear in the 7th series of Benidorm in person, however the character's voice was heard on a telephone call, albeit provided by a sound-a-like. [6][7][8]


Ireland died on 31 July 2014 aged 68.[9][10] He was survived by his second wife, theatrical agent Meg Poole, his stepdaughter and his four grandsons.[11]


Year Title Role Notes
2007–2014 Benidorm Donald Stewart 42 episodes
2013 Loose Women Himself Interview
2012 Midsomer Murders George Dormer
2012 Doctors Godfrey Lang
2012 This Morning Himself Interview
2011 All Star Family Fortunes Himself Benidorm vs. The Only Way is Essex
2009 Beyond a Joke Himself
2005 Rose and Maloney Mr. Hawkins the prison officer
2005 New Tricks George Morton 3 episodes
2005 Casualty Joshua Wright
2004 Heartbeat Zeph Pratt
2003 My Dad's the Prime Minister Union leader
2003 Monarch of the Glen Mike Baxter
1999 Loose Women Himself
1999 Taggart Kenny Murdoch
1997 Hamish Macbeth Torquil McFarquar
1993 Punch Drunk Vinnie Binns 6 episodes
1992 El C.I.D. Angus
1991 4 Play Sammy Duncan
1991 Spatz Johnnie
1990 House of Cards Ben Landless
1990 Rab C. Nesbitt Gavin Clark
1990 Drop the Dead Donkey Sound man
1990 The Big Man Tony Feature film
1989 Resurrected Denzil Clausen Feature film
1989 Hard Cases Slow Michael
1988 Drowning by Numbers Jonah Bognor Feature film
1988 Salome's Last Dance 1st soldier Feature film
1987 A Hazard of Hearts Padlett TV film
1987 Life Without George Sammy 6 episodes
1985–1987 Victoria Wood As Seen on TV Derek 9 episodes
1984 The Young Visiters Alfred Salteena Feature film
1983 Local Hero Skipper Feature film
1982 Moonlighting Timber man Feature film
1980 The Dogs of War Film crew member Feature film
1972 The Hound of the Baskervilles Sir Henry Baskerville TV film


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Hayward, Anthony (31 July 2014). "Kenny Ireland obituary". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "Scots getting theatre 'on the cheap'". 24 February 2002. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "'Benidorm' Star Kenny Ireland Fighting Cancer". 23 June 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "Benidorm star Kenny Ireland battling cancer – Showbiz News". Digital Spy. 23 June 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "Benidorm Star Kenny Ireland is 'battling cancer' – Yahoo TV UK". 23 June 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  9. ^ Jackson, Marc (2014). "Kenny Ireland dead aged 68 following battle with cancer | Mail Online". Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "BBC News – Benidorm actor Kenny Ireland dies from cancer aged 68". 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "Kenny Ireland obituary". The Guardian. 31 July 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  12. ^ "Kenny Ireland – IMDb". Retrieved 31 July 2014. 

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