It’s all down to Down­ton!

An­drew Scar­bor­ough on how his role in the hit drama helped him land a part in Em­merdale

Daily Mail Weekend Magazine - - SOAP WATCH - Tom Latchem

He’s ap­peared in Down­ton Abbey with Dame Mag­gie Smith, and shared a stage with Ralph Fi­ennes, but An­drew Scar­bor­ough says that join­ing Em­merdale was every bit as nerve-rack­ing.

‘It doesn’t mat­ter what ac­tors have done be­fore, start­ing a new job is al­ways like turn­ing up to a new school,’ says An­drew, who re­cently be­gan his role as Gra­ham Foster, loyal as­sis­tant to ty­coon Tom Water­house.

‘I’m a lot bet­ter at han­dling the nerves as I’ve got used to it. But un­der­neath, meet­ing new peo­ple and feel­ing ex­posed on such a big show – where if some­thing goes wrong it goes hor­ri­bly wrong – I was very ner­vous!’

Thank­fully, An­drew, 44, had the sup­port of fel­low new­comer Ned Por­te­ous, who plays Tom, as they both started on the same day. Both made their de­buts last week when they tried to hire one of Deb­bie Din­gle’s lux­ury cars – be­fore it was stolen. ‘It’s great to be com­ing into the show with some­one who’s go­ing through the same thing as me,’ says An­drew.

Lit­tle is known about Gra­ham, and that’s just how An­drew likes it. ‘I can’t tell you much apart from he’s dry­hu­moured and de­pend­able, and a fas­ci­nat­ing, dy­namic char­ac­ter I felt I could be in­ter­ested in for a long time.

Be­cause he’s an enigma I can go any­where with him, which is ex­cit­ing.’

An­drew was raised in Har­ro­gate, close to where Em­merdale is filmed, and be­came an ac­tor on his fa­ther’s ad­vice. ‘He’d seen me as King Herod in a school play aged seven and thought I was bril­liant,’ says An­drew. ‘I was sur­prised when he sug­gested it, but I haven’t looked back. Dad’s very proud, and work­ing on Em­merdale means I get to see my par­ents more, which is great.’

Af­ter com­plet­ing his drama stud­ies, An­drew landed mi­nor roles on stage and TV, as well as ap­pear­ing along­side Ralph Fi­ennes in the 1995 Almeida Theatre pro­duc­tion of Ham­let.

His first taste of fame came in 2000, when he starred with Damian Lewis, Amanda Holden and Dervla Kir­wan in BBC1’s twen­tysome­thing

drama Hearts & Bones. ‘That was when I first got a pro­file,’ he says.

His big­gest role came 13 years later as farmer Tim Drewe in Down­ton Abbey. ‘Down­ton was bliss,’ says An­drew. ‘Ev­ery­one was happy and se­cure be­cause it was a suc­cess. I never thought I’d work with Dame Mag­gie, who’s a hero­ine of mine. We only had one small scene but I was in awe.’

An­drew reck­ons Down­ton prob­a­bly played a part in him land­ing a job at Em­merdale. ‘I think it jogged a few peo­ple’s me­mories and re­minded them what I could do.’

Now he’s de­lighted to have signed a long-term Em­merdale con­tract. ‘I’m lov­ing it. The cast and crew are among the friendli­est I’ve met and the scripts are so tightly writ­ten. Work­ing on the show ranks up there with Down­ton.’

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