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The Gavin & Stacey star you pass in the street

"Berkhamsted is a very comfortable place for me to be. Every now and then I get a strange look (the type when someone can't place you) or a questioning 'what are you doing here?' Those are rare nowadays, I suppose people are used to me being around."

For actor Adrian Scarborough appearing on stage and on television in popular plays, dramas and sitcoms is not about being famous or making it in Hollywood. It's a job - and certainly one he likes.

"I'm not a terribly ambitious actor, which is perhaps not a very good thing to be...I'm too lazy," he admits.

The 41-year-old actor who trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School is prolific in playing medium sized roles.

It could be for this reason that when people who do not know him see him in the street, they look at him with confused recognition. They have certainly seen him somewhere before.

It could be from his role as Wilkes; in the film version of Alan Bennett's History Boys; Mr Jolly, in BBC's Psychoville, Mr Johnson in Cranford, Frank in Vera Drake or a whole host of programmes including Minder, The Bill, Poppy Shakespeare, Gosford Park, Bright Young Things. The list of his film, stage and television credits is endless.

He counts people like Alan Bennett and Imelda Staunton as friends and places like The National Theatre as a 'home from home'.

As a company member of the world famous theatre Adrian has been in Time and the Conways, Once in a Lifetime, Henry IV Parts I & II, The Mandate, The False Servant, The Day I Stood Still, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Racing Demon, Murmuring Judges, The Absence of War, The Recruiting Officer and The Wind in the Willows.

One show many comedy fans will see Adrian perform in will be as Pete Sutcliffe, in the BBC comedy Gavin & Stacey.

Pete and his wife Dawn are friends Gavin's parents Pam and Mick; played by Alison Steadman and Larry Lamb.

Pete and Dawn, who is played by Julia Davis, pop up in the show now and again when there is a party or gathering of family and friends. They have this hilariously strained marriage, which results in them constantly insulting each other in public.

Adrian said: "It's so weird acting like that with Julia because she's not like that at all in real life. Julia is one of the nicest people you will meet."

For the past couple of years Adrian's role as Pete has meant he has had to travel to Cardiff where most of the sitcom was filmed. The cast stayed at the Park Plaza Hotel and had to get up early in the morning to drive to the set.

It was not always a glamorous experience. The last two series were filmed during the autumn, so it was cold and wet all the time.

"A show like Gavin & Stacey is joyous to work on, it's like being part of a big family," explained Adrian.

During last summer's filming Adrian's wife Rose, popped down to enjoy the blue skies and warm weather in Wales. Rose found out that she shared a love for recycling with Alison Steadman and was extremely pleased when the actress agreed to make a guest appearance at her Open Studio event at re:create art studio, in Berkhamsted, back in October.

Adrian said: "As a cast we have been very happy together, to the point where now everyone has a shorthand with one another. I've spent three years on Gavin & Stacey and it's a role I got completely by accident

.

"James Corden and I were both in the film adaptation of The History Boys back in 2006. Afterwards we were at a benefit night at The British Film Institute and I asked James what he was up to and he said that he had written a sitcom that the BBC were going to make and I said 'I hope you've written something in there for me!' He said hold on one minute, went off and made a phone call and then two days later a script drops through my door. Pete is a very small part. I think he's terribly misunderstood."

Earlier in the year Gavin & Stacey writers James Corden and Ruth Jones announced that Series Three of the multi award winning sitcom would be the last one.

Adrian said: "I've always been told on that I play a very good drunk, by coincidence they have written me some wonderful drunk scenes, which will need rehearsing and plenty of practise," Adrian joked.

"In series three Pete gets rather spectacularly drunk and there's one episode where Pete and Dawn share a very special moment. Julia and I could not get through filming it without laughing, it took forever to shoot because we were just giggling away."

The last series of Gavin & Stacey was filmed in June this year: "They just said 'that's it' and quite right too," explained Adrian.

"They had gone as far as they wanted, so they should stop before they feel like they have to write it. So far the writing has been a pleasure for them. There's nothing worse than writing comedy when it becomes a chore. It was a fantastic idea that has spawned three brilliant series and a Christmas special."

So what's next for Adrian Scarborough?

"I'm in Alan Bennett's new play, The Habit of Art. It's about a meeting between the poet W H Auden and the composer Benjamin Britten and a rent boy and it's full of Alan's wonderful wit.

"You know I don't think that I will ever get over the fact that Alan keeps casting me in his plays. I am very flattered to be asked."

The Habit of Art starts at The National Theatre on Thursday, November 5. The six month run is sold out until January.

Fans of Adrian Scarborough can also join him in group play readings at re:create, in Berkhamsted. The group will read The Weir by Conor McPherson, on Sunday, November 22 and Absurd Person Singular, by Alan Ayckbourn, on Sunday, December 13. For more information visit the www.recreateberko.co.uk.

 
 
 

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