March 4, 2010

Richard Armitage: Yummiest Edible Prop Poll - & Biography

New vid - clever & true
Edible Prop Poll:
Ah, how sweet...Lucas seems to be rummaging through his kitchen cupboards--he must've had a snack attack...

Which of the following edible RA props is the yummiest?...

1. Guy's Apple?

2.  Lucas North's Donuts? 

3. JT's Mill Stew?
Few polls back some readers expressed interest in seeing...

Richard Armitage : Biography
Richard Armitage was born in Leicester on 22nd August 1971, the second son of Margaret, a secretary, and John, an engineer. He grew up in a village outside the city, and has described himself as a somewhat solitary child who developed a “vivid imagination” through his passionate enjoyment of reading. Childhood favourites included The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
At the age of fourteen he transferred from a local state middle school to Pattison’s an independent boarding school specialising in Performing Arts. The school arranged regular theatre visits, and it was here, watching a performance at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, that he discovered an interest in acting: “I remember having that moment of finally understanding what was going on. They were having such a good time and the audience was having such a good time and I just thought that was where I wanted to be. I remember thinking they were doing something they loved and they were getting paid for it”. [2]

Pattison’s introduced him to the demands and obligations of an acting career: "It... instilled me with a discipline that has stood me in good stead - never to be late, to know your lines and to be professional." It gave its pupils opportunities to appear in local amateur and professional productions, and by the time Richard left school at 17, he had already appeared in Showboat, Half a Sixpence, as Bacchus in Orpheus and the Underworld and in The Hobbit at the Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham.

After leaving school, Richard joined The Second Generation, a physical theatre group, working for eight weeks in a show called Allow London at the Nachtcircus in Budapest. Here he later described “sleeping next to the elephants” as “a low point in show business”, it was sufficient to gain him his Equity card, a pre-requisite at the time for entry to the profession.
By 1995...This was the year that Richard enrolled on a three-year Acting course at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Here he appeared in student productions.. Graduating in the summer of 1998, he immediately joined the cast of Hamlet at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre..An eighteen month engagement with the Royal Shakespeare Company followed.

His first named TV roles came at the end of 2001, when he appeared in two BBC medical dramas. He played locum Dr Tom Steele in two episodes of Doctors, and then Craig, boyfriend of Dr Lara Stone, in an episode of Casualty.

By the following spring, he was in Yorkshire filming Sparkhouse for the BBC, a modern interpretation of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. It was his first major TV role – he played John Standring, the shy farmhand who was in love with the heroine, Carol. Sparkhouse was broadcast in September 2002.
It was swiftly followed a very different role in a high-profile drama series on ITV. In February and March 2003, he was seen in the final series of Cold Feet as Lee Richards, the good-looking lifeguard with an eye for the ladies.
And then in the summer of the same year came another recurring role in a big ITV drama series – Capt Ian Macalwain in the second series of the SAS drama, Ultimate Force.

A significant role in another ITV drama series came next. He played the probation officer partner of a sex therapist in Kay Mellor’s six part drama Between the Sheets. The series dealt frankly with sex and included a number of sex scenes, some of them involving Richard Armitage and Julie Graham. It was broadcast in November and December 2003.

In the spring and summer of 2004, he filmed his first leading role on television, that of mill-owner John Thornton in the BBC’s adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s 19th century novel, North and South. His co-star was former EastEnders and My Family actress Daniela Denby-Ashe. It was to prove his breakthrough role. It was a high-quality production and when it was shown in November and December 2004, it was well received by the critics and got larger audiences than might have been expected for an adaptation of a Gaskell novel. His sensitive portrayal of the vulnerabilities of the outwardly strong mill-owner won him legions of fans and a reputation as a heart-throb. It also brought him to the attention of casting directors as a potential leading man.
His next two appearances on TV had been filmed before North and South was broadcast. They were an appearance in an episode of the BBC detective series, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, and a supporting role as a “misogynist cad” in ITV’s adaptation of Francis Iles' murder mystery, Malice Aforethought (both shown in spring 2005). [5]

After North and South was broadcast, larger roles came his way. In September and October 2005, he played Dr Alec Track, the leader of a team of helicopter emergency doctors in ITV’s series, The Golden Hour.
In the BBC’s Shakespeare Retold series of stories based on Shakespeare plays, he returned to Macbeth, this time playing the more important role of Macduff. This was seen in November 2005.

In spring 2006 came another leading role, this time as painter Claude Monet in the BBC series The Impressionists.
His next role, although not the lead, brought him a far wider audience and yet more fans. He played the evil Sir Guy of Gisborne in the BBC’s major drama series for the autumn of 2006, Robin Hood. The black leather-clad Gisborne murdered and tortured as if it was all in a day’s work, and then went off to woo Marian. The series has been sold to several other countries including the USA, Canada and Australia, where it was broadcast in spring 2007.

Robin Hood gave him the opportunity to record his first audiobooks – four stories based on the first four episodes of the series. Since then, he has recorded an audiobook of Bernard Cornwell's The Lords of the North for The Audiobook Collection, released in July 2007.
In the six months between the filming of series 1 and 2 of Robin Hood, Richard Armitage filmed several more TV programmes. At Christmas 2006 he appeared in the last two episodes of The Vicar of Dibley, playing Dawn French’s husband-to-be. The first of the two episodes had the largest Christmas Day audience that year. He was then seen as Ricky Deeming, the leader of a 1960s biker gang in George Gently, a BBC detective drama starring Martin Shaw that was shown in April 2007.
In the BBC Four drama Miss Marie Lloyd - Queen of the Music Hall, broadcast in May 2007, he played Percy Courtenay, Marie Lloyd's first husband, opposite Jessie Wallace. He was later seen in a Miss Marple story called Ordeal by Innocence, first broadcast in Canada in June 2007, and later shown in the USA and the UK.

In the autumn of 2007 came his first radio work. In October, he read from the letters of the former Poet Laureate in The Ted Hughes Letters on BBC Radio 4, and in November he was one of the readers in a programme for BBC Radio 2 about the experiences of non-combatants in wartime, A War Less Ordinary.
In 2008, Richard joined the cast of Spooks, the BBC's popular spy series about MI5, for its seventh series, playing MI5 officer Lucas North. The series was shown on BBC One and BBC Three during autumn 2008. It was so well received that an eighth series was commissioned, and broadcast on BBC One and BBC Three in November and December 2009.
Other work broadcast in 2009 included the narration of two programmes in March - a three part documentary series for ITV, New Homes From Hell 2009, and a single documentary for Channel 4 called The Great Sperm Race. In May, he was seen in a drama for BBC Daytime called Drowning not Waving. Written by Sarah Deane, it was one of a series of five dramas executive-produced by Jimmy McGovern called Moving On.

The third and final series of Robin Hood was broadcast on the BBC in spring 2009. Linked to the new series was a new set of Robin Hood audiobooks - Richard was the reader on two of them. In July, his second full-length audiobook was released by Naxos, a recording of Georgette Heyer's Regency romance, Sylvester.

His work in 2010 began with a series of voiceovers in UK television and radio commercials. A television advert for the bank Santander was followed by radio and television adverts for the Alfa Romeo Mito Multiair. He also became the voice of the BBC's coverage of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, being heard in a number of trailers on both television and radio before and during the Games in February.

In March, he is the narrator for a documentary in BBC Two's Natural World series, called Forest Elephants - Rumbles in the Jungle. Also in March, he stars as Lovelace in BBC Radio 4's four part dramatisation of Samuel Richardson's 1747 novel, Clarissa. Later in the spring, he swaps the role of an 18th century rake for a 21st century action hero, starring in Strike Back, a 6 part TV series for Sky, based on Chris Ryan's novel of the same name.
In April, Naxos Audiobooks will release his second recording for them of a Georgette Heyer novel, this time, Venetia.  He is currently filming the ninth series of Spooks in London, which is due for broadcast towards the end of 2010.  Entire biography available at…

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