British actor, writer and director, Robert Gillespie has brought many smiles to television viewers over the decades with guest appearances in tv series such as Porridge, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? And Rising Damp and starring as cartoonist Dudley Rush in 5 series of the 80s sit-com Keep it In the Family.
However, Robert’s acting career stretches back to the 1950s appearing in rep as well as early roles in the then new medium of television.
Now, Robert is presenting his colourful descriptions of the world of the actor manager, the art of film, commercial theatre, rep, ground-breaking fringe theatre, television, TV comedy, directing and writing satire in a new memoir, Are You Going to Take that Little Jump?
In the first of a four-part series of interviews with Andy Howells for Entertainment South Wales, Robert, (who was born in Lille, France in 1933 before moving to England with his parents following the outbreak of World War II), recalls his early days growing up in post-war Manchester and his first steps into acting at Sale Grammar School.
When it came to Robert deciding about his future career, he had a tough decision to make between acting and the sciences, two subjects he excelled at, as he explains to Andy Howells in a new interview.
‘Somebody told me you could make a lot of money if you started in the sciences, £14 a week starting wage instead of £9. That was the only basis you could make a choice, so I went into the science sixth form.
‘I’m afraid I thought, “I don’t ever want to write another exam…” I got my A levels and in fact I got a place in Manchester University. I turned it down and so, I went on this rocky road instead.’
You can watch the first part of Andy Howells interview with Robert Gillespie above and order his new memoir, via Are You Going To Take that Little Jump? official website