On My Radar

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - CONTENTS -

Ac­tor Nigel Havers picks his cul­tural highs

Cur­rent favourite book?

A book I’ll take with me ev­ery­where is The

Dar­ling Buds of May by HE Bates. They made it into a TV se­ries which was okay, but the book is a quin­tes­sen­tial English novel about a char­ac­ter called Pop Larkin who’s one of the great char­ac­ters of English lit­er­a­ture. The

Dar­ling Buds of May al­ways re­minds me of how beau­ti­ful the UK is. It’s the eas­i­est book to read and it makes you feel great af­ter read­ing it.


It’s in a ho­tel and it’s called Colombe d’Or in St Paul de Vence in the south of France. I’ve been go­ing there since I was about 10 and now I go there with my wife. Ev­ery­thing about it is just sub­lime. It’s typ­i­cal French, coun­try food and the lo­ca­tion is ex­cel­lent – look it up on Google and you’ll see how the restau­rant is set up out­side. It’s beau­ti­ful.


Jack White­hall. He’s my god­son. I’ve been watch­ing him since he started and I don’t have to worry about him now, he’s do­ing al­right.


There’s so many young ac­tors around at the mo­ment and they’re all very good. I’m glad I’m not young, as the com­pe­ti­tion is too high. Ben Whishaw is a won­der­ful ac­tor, he’s very in­ter­est­ing, and he was Padding­ton in

Padding­ton 2, which is my favourite film at the mo­ment.


My favourite is West Side Story. It’s the most beau­ti­ful mu­si­cal. I was only about eight or nine when it first came to the West End as a brand new mu­si­cal, and ev­ery­one went crazy for it. The movie is fan­tas­tic too, I watch it reg­u­larly on telly. I haven’t seen Hamil­ton yet but that’s on my list of things to see.


I don’t have one par­tic­u­lar artist I ad­mire, I have lots of dif­fer­ent artists’ work at home. I’m an open book, I’m will­ing to learn. I col­lect mostly early 20th cen­tury Bri­tish artists like Ed­ward Seago, the English im­pres­sion­ist painter in the 1940s and 1950s. He paints Nor­folk and Suf­folk, which is where I grew up, so I know that sky.

TV show

I like watch­ing The Crown, it’s fun to imag­ine how the Royal fam­ily be­have. I sup­pose any­thing about the Royal fam­ily is fas­ci­nat­ing to us, it’s very weird.


I vote for Bafta so I shouldn’t re­ally say my favourite film, but it’s Padding­ton 2. It’s pro­fes­sional sto­ry­telling: it has a re­ally strong be­gin­ning, mid­dle and end. It can be watched by all the fam­ily too. As a grown up, you can’t watch a film that’s just aimed at chil­dren be­cause you’ll get bored. And it doesn’t de­press me. Most films de­press me. Phan­tom

Thread is so de­press­ing, and Three Bill­boards was a bit de­press­ing too, I found it re­ally hard work.


It would be Dire Straits’s self-ti­tled first al­bum. That was great mu­sic of its time. Dire Straits were a very in­ter­est­ing band and I loved their sound, they had a great swing to it and Mark Knopfler’s gui­tar work was so in­tri­cate you could never have copied it. I got to know Mark Knopfler later through mu­tual friends, so I go to see him in con­cert some­times, he’s just amaz­ing. Nigel Havers stars in Art at the Gai­ety Theatre Dublin, March 19th-24th

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