Agent of SATIRE

Bum­bling Bond wannabe Johnny English is back in the se­cret- agent sad­dle, writes Jonathon Mo­ran

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page -

BRI­TISH co­me­dian Rowan Atkin­son has de­scribed his re­cent high-speed car crash as ‘‘ sober­ing’’.

The Mr Bean star says the ac­ci­dent in his $ 2 mil­lion McLaren F1 last month gave him a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive on his life and ca­reer, although he stopped short of de­scrib­ing it as life-chang­ing.

‘‘ It was sober­ing,’’ Atkin­son says of the prang in which the ac­tor hit a tree and a sign­post be­fore the car caught on fire. ‘‘ There’s al­ways a les­son to be learnt when you have a prang. ‘‘ In­evitably if you drive with spirit, ev­ery now and then you are go­ing to make a mis­take for which you pay a price and cer­tainly that has been the case this time.

‘‘ But one hopes to learn a les­son and move on.’’

For Atkin­son, that les­son has been about luck.

Re­mark­ably, Atkin­son, 56, got out of the ac­ci­dent rel­a­tively un­scathed with ‘‘ just a sore shoul­der, which will take an­other cou­ple of weeks to prop­erly mend’’.

‘‘ I’m well aware that the older you get, the more you re­alise how big a part luck plays in your life – whether it’s to do with cars or ca­reer ac­tu­ally,’’ he says.

‘‘ When you are young and suc­cess­ful, you think you de­serve it. And when you are older and still suc­cess­ful, you be­gin to feel luck has played a ma­jor part.’’

Atkin­son ( pic­tured) is speak­ing as he pro­motes his new film, Johnny English

Re­born, co-star­ring Gil­lian An­der­son and Rosamund Pike and di­rected by Oliver Parker.

He chose Syd­ney for the film’s world pre­miere ear­lier this month. It’s the fol­low-up to the 2003 com­edy,

Johnny English, with Atkin­son repris­ing the role of the un­likely se­cret-ser­vice agent, par­o­dy­ing James Bond.

‘‘ It’s not high art, I should warn ev­ery­one of that,’’ he says.

‘‘ But, at the same time, I think it’s got a lot go­ing for it.

‘‘ And my per­sonal be­lief is it is a bet­ter film in ab­so­lute terms than the first one, so I hope it is en­joyed.’’ Atkin­son has a rep­u­ta­tion of be­ing rather se­ri­ous away from his of­ten odd­ball on-screen char­ac­ters such as Mr Bean and Black­ad­der, but over the phone from Eng­land he is re­laxed and down to earth.

Editor Stu­art Gil­lies TV Editor Debbie Schipp Con­trib­u­tors Leigh Paatsch, Craig Miller, Re­becca Fitzgib­bon, Jar­rad Be­van, Jen­nifer Dud­ley-Nicholson TV Writ­ers Debbie Schipp, Tim Martain, Dar­ren Dev­lyn, Anooska Tucker-Evans, James Wigney Pro­duc­tion NEWSCen­tral Queens­land De­signer Jo Jamieson

Tas­ma­nia Ad­ver­tis­ing Kylie Der­moudy [ p] 03 6230 0645 [ f] 03 6230 0766 [ e] der­moudyk@ dbl. newsltd. com. au Cover Rowan Atkin­son. Pub­lished by News Magazines. Pro­pri­etor and pub­lisher Davies Broth­ers Pty Ltd ( ACN 009 475 754) of 91-93 Mac­quarie St, Ho­bart, 7000 for in­ser­tion in the Sun­day Tas­ma­nian. Pro­grams sub­ject to late changes by the TV sta­tions.

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