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For 30 years actor Todd Carty has had names shouted at him in the street. First it was ‘Tucker’ after his character from Grange Hill, then it was ‘Mark’ in the 80s when he starred in Eastenders. Most recently it’s been ‘Gabriel’ after playing the part of an evil copper in The Bill.
His most memorable performance, however, was appearing on Dancing On Ice last year. He stumbled off the ice during week three of the contest, flew through a tunnel and re-appeared just as ‘Help!’ by The Beatles finished playing.
Todd is currently appearing in Eric Idle's musical, Spamalot. The comedy musical re-enacts the best moments from the Monty Python films. Todd plays the part of Patsy, who was a character in the film Monty Python and The Holy Grail. He said, “I’m a huge Monty Python fan. Maybe not as geeky as some of the other cast members but I’ve always liked them. I was old enough to sneak into The Holy Grail film back in the 70s. It’s nice to play comedy and be in front of a live audience.
“Spamalot is very much where the audience are involved. I would advise you if you’ve got them in your drawer to bring along a spare pair of pants because you’re really going to enjoy yourself. I always get to sing the iconic song 'Always Look On The Bright Side of Life’.”
Todd started his career at the age of four when he starred in a Woolworths advert. He landed the role of Tucker in Grange Hill way back in 1977 when he jumped to the front of the queue during the auditions:
“The director caught me and sent me to the back,” he told The Hour. “Little did I realise that in episode three of Grange Hill the janitor sent Tucker to the back of the queue, so in a strange way jumping to the front of the queue started my career.”
Scotsman Paul Marquis gave Todd the role of Gabriel in The Bill when he found out that the actor was leaving Eastenders. He told Todd that the character he would be playing was a little bit dark, but he didn’t realise that Gabriel was, in fact, a total psycho: “It was nice to wake up in the morning and get all your aggression and anger out,” Todd said. “The cat was quite safe when I went home. It was great fun to play.”
Todd hasn’t been to Scotland many times, but he loves the Scottish audiences, who are known for being really appreciative and thoroughly enjoying themselves. He said: “Glasgow was one of the most vociferous venues we’ve been in and Edinburgh wasn’t close behind. Rock on, Glasgow!”
Monty Python’s Spamalot continues an extensive UK tour this autumn. See the website for details.