MYPERFECTWEEKEND

Welsh walks and Chelsea cir­cuits fit the bill for ac­tor John Bar­row­man

The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - Living -

Imostly work six days a week, so my free time usu­ally starts on Satur­day night and goes through to Sun­day. When I do fin­ish work on a Fri­day, it’s a huge lux­ury. It hap­pens ev­ery cou­ple of weeks.

I live in Lon­don, but most week­ends are spent in Wales be­cause we are film­ing the television se­ries Torch­wood there. My part­ner — the ar­chi­tect Scott Gill — and I have a flat in the heart of Cardiff Bay.

If I have a proper free week­end, Scott trav­els to Wales on Fri­day night. Right af­ter break­fast on Satur­day morn­ing we’ll jump in the car with our beloved spaniel, Lewis. Un­til re­cently, we had three dogs, but Penny and Tiger died of old age this year. We’ll take off — with the top down if the weather is good — and drive to the Vale of Glam­or­gan and other gor­geous places. Soon enough it’ll be time for a big pub lunch be­fore head­ing back to town in time to have drinks with friends and then maybe go to a movie. On Sun­day we might have friends visit­ing with their kids. We’ll show them round Cardiff and take them to the set of Doc­tor Who and Torch­wood.

Our favourite place for Sun­day lunch is a lovely lit­tle pub called The Cap­tain’s Wife, where the food is su­perb. It’s right on the seafront in Swan­bridge, near Pe­narth. Scott and I are so fond of the area that we’re buy­ing a fan­tas­tic house there, with sea views and a pool. We shall be do­ing lots of ren­o­va­tions, of course. Scott has his own com­pany now, but he used to work for Norman Fos­ter and Richard Rogers, so he has a very good de­sign pedi­gree.

Right op­po­site the pub is Sully Is­land. When lunch is over and the tide is out, you can walk across to the is­land. One side is bar­ren, rocky and weath­erbat­tered, and the other is smooth and green. It’s a re­ally cool place.

I feel very re­laxed about be­ing recog­nised when I’m out. I came into this busi­ness to work and celebrity sta­tus has come with it. I’m proud of it. When I’m asked for an au­to­graph, of course I sign it. I love be­ing fa­mous be­cause it shows peo­ple ap­pre­ci­ate what I’m do­ing.

Lon­don week­ends are great, too. Scott and I have lived for 12 years in what es­tate agents call West Chelsea, but it’s re­ally Earls Court. We bought the place for a rel­a­tive song and used to own the whole build­ing. We’ve sold the free­hold but kept a three-bed­room maisonette with a gar­den. It’s el­e­gant, but very cosy and lived-in.

I spend Fri­day evenings at home, chill­ing out with Scott, read­ing and talk­ing. On Satur­day morn­ing we take the dog to Hyde Park for a long walk, then do our gro­cery shop­ping. Af­ter a light lunch, Scott gen­er­ally has a nap and I head off to Bond Street or the King’s Road. I of­ten find my­self in Peter Jones. I’m a Peter Jones tart. I love the place.

On Satur­day evening we’ll have din­ner at a lo­cal restau­rant, Balans, on the Old Bromp­ton Road. I’ve known the owner, Prady Balan, since he worked in a sand­wich shop when I was in my first West End job — Any­thing Goes with Elaine Paige.

Af­ter a lie-in on Sun­day morn­ing, my job (or Scott’s, de­pend­ing on who has had the most to drink the night be­fore) is to make ba­con sand­wiches. We must have ba­con sand­wiches, cof­fee and pa­pers in bed. It’s tra­di­tional.

Once we fi­nally sur­face, we of­ten visit Scott’s par­ents in Hert­ford­shire for Sun­day lunch. Then I’ll drop him off in Lon­don, take the dog and drive back to Cardiff, ready to start film­ing again.

It’s a good life and, de­spite my Amer­i­can ac­cent, I am a Brit. I was born in Scot­land and moved to the US, aged nine, when my fa­ther’s job took him there. Liv­ing here since 1989 has been great — like com­ing home. In­ter­view by Yvonne Swann

John Bar­row­man’s album, An­other Side, is out

on Sony BMG

I’m a celebrity:

John Bar­row­man loves his fame and sign­ing au­to­graphs

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