BORN Richard Grant Esterhuysen, Richard E. Grant is the son of the last minister of education in the British colony of Swaziland before independence in 1968.
He plays Michael Heseltine opposite Meryl Streep’s Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady and is in The Kath & Kim Filum.
He also wrote and directed the autobiographical film Wah-wah, set in Swaziland at the end of the ’ 60s. What made you decide to get involved in The History of Safari? The BBC asked me as I grew up in Swaziland. What did you learn while filming in East Africa? The difficulty of conserving vast tracts of land for wildlife and balancing that with the population explosion. After moving to England in the 1980s do you think perceptions of Africa have changed or is the view still of poverty? There seems to be a clear division between ‘‘aid’’ from the west and ‘‘trade’’ from the far east. Hopefully the north African revolutions which began in Tunisia, then Egypt and Libya, will provoke a watershed of democracy throughout the continent and depose the dictators who continue to squander and keep their countries yoked in poverty. What were your experiences of shooting in Swaziland for your film Wah-wah. Writing and directing my autobiographical film was the most challenging and rewarding creative experience I’ve had so far. The History of Safari with Richard E. Grant ABC1, Monday, 8.30pm
Homeland: Richard E. Grant in Swaziland