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The Life of Brian: Actor Brian Cox to explain move From X-Men to Dundee telly
There is a pretty little suburb to the east of Dundee, right on the shores of the River Tay, called Broughty Ferry.
It is a place both I and actor Brian Cox, a proud Dundonian, know very well.
Not only is it home to my in-laws, it is also the stomping ground of Neil Forsyth’s fictional burger magnate Bob Servant – a character Cox has played with relish on both radio and television for the past four years.
Although fewer English audiences may have noticed, Servant made his small screen debut last year, in BBC’s Scotland’s Bob Servant Independent.
The series won favourable reviews, and will return later this year for a second series.
Filming begins in May, and Cox is looking forward to returning to his homeland.
“I’m particularly proud of it,” says Cox.
“It isn’t often you get something from my neck of the woods.
“There’s a different sense of humour along the east coast, more surreal.
“Glasgow humour is all about being put upon - the humour comes from being gloomy and depressed.
“But in Dundee you can get sunlight at four in the morning.
“When you grow up like that you don’t have that gloomy view.”
These days Cox is a bona fide Hollywood movie star, whose film credits include Braveheart, X-Men 2, Troy and the first two Bourne films.
He probably does not need to be appearing in a modest television sitcom about a self-important small businessman from Dundee.
But Cox has always had the ability take his career wherever he wants it to go, seemingly at will.
He left school at 15 to pursue his acting ambitions, starting out at the renowned Dundee Rep Theatre, before establishing himself as a Shakespearean actor of distinction.
“I’ve been doing this for more than 50 years now,” says Cox.
“I still enjoy it. The problem is not to take it too seriously. When I was younger I was ambitious but now I’m older and I don’t take it as seriously.”
He plans to find more film work after filming for Bob Servant finishes, although he doesn't rule out a return to television if the right job comes along.
“I shifted my career in the 90s, because I really wanted to get into film,” he says. “There was nothing going on in Britain and television was dreadful.
“The writing in television has got so much better since then.
“You still have to deal with the wazzocks but that’s always been the case.”
Before then Cox will be visiting Kingston to speak to Viv Groskop in the latest instalment of the Time To Talk series.
It won’t be his first time at the Rose.
“Last time I was there I was there to receive a doctorate from Kingston university, so it’s quite nice to be going back,” he says.
“I’ve never played there, but who knows.”
Brian Cox, Time To Talk, Rose Theatre, High Street, Kingston Friday, April 25, 5.30pm £8 Visit rosetheatrekingston.org or call 08444 821 556
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