TV Plus (South Africa) - - 12 OCTOBER -

Sea­son 1 ITV Choice (*123) 20:00 Drama

Prime Min­is­ter Lord Mel­bourne’s (Ru­fus Sewell) flirty re­la­tion­ship with Bri­tain’s Queen Vic­to­ria (Jenna Cole­man) in Vic­to­ria (2016-cur­rent) has au­di­ences fan­ning them­selves. No won­der they had to marry her off to Prince Al­bert (Tom Hughes) chop-chop. “Mel­bourne and Vic­to­ria were in­sep­a­ra­ble for the first few years of her reign. It was a lovely re­la­tion­ship,” says 48-year-old Ru­fus. And it was a fun change of pace for him. “Be­ing pi­geon-holed as a bad guy has been an in­ter­mit­tent prob­lem with me over the years,” he ad­mits.

Ru­fus’s vil­lain CV in­cludes play­ing 1

Count Ad­he­mar in A Knight’s Tale (2001) and brood­ing Seth Starkad­der in 1996 com­edy movie Cold Com­fort Farm.

His Aussie dad Billy, an an­i­ma­tor 2

who worked on The Bea­tles Yel­low Sub­ma­rine film (1968), died when Ru­fus was 10 and his Welsh artist mom Jo took odd jobs to raise Ru­fus and his older brother Cas­par.

Be­fore he au­di­tioned for drama 3

school, Ru­fus was fired from one of his first jobs – as a street sweeper – for be­ing ter­ri­ble at the job!

Dame Judi Dench got him his first 4

agent in 1989 af­ter di­rect­ing him in a play at Lon­don’s Cen­tral School Of Speech And Drama.

“The rea­son I’m un­em­ployed for 5

six months of the year is that I have to turn down most of the jobs that I am of­fered. If I didn’t, I’d only ever play a dark count on a horse,” he says, jok­ing that “years of dis­ap­point­ment and com­pro­mise have added depth to my art”.

Ru­fus has been mar­ried twice, to 6

fash­ion con­sul­tant Yas­min Ab­dal­lah (for less than a year in 1999) and to script-writer and pro­ducer Amy Gard­ner (for two years in 2006) with whom he has a 14-year-old son named Billy.

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