Department research project produces actors’ archive

Researchers in the Department Film, Theatre and Television have produced an online archive of actor interviews – including Simon Callow, Hugh Bonneville and Harriet Walters – shedding light on the creative process involved in portraying real people. Conducted for the AHRC-funded research project ‘Acting with Facts: Performing the Real on Stage and Screen, 1990-2010’, these 23 interviews showcase actors discussing their experience of and views about performing in TV and theatre dramas based on real events, and portraying real people.

Available for download as pdfs, these interviews were conducted primarily between 2007 and 2009 and provide a useful resource for performers and researchers alike. An accompanying ‘About the Interviews’ document explains the role of the interviews within the Acting With Facts project, gives an overview of the research results obtained from the interviews, and reflects on the methodology of interviewing for research.

The actors interviewed were: Anne Reid, Alecky Blythe, Beattie Edney, Bella Merlin, Bill Hoyland, Caroline Blakiston, Chipo Chung, Chris Ettridge, David Annen, Esther Coles, Harriet Walter, Hugh Bonneville, Ian McNeice, Jan Ravens, Lloyd Hutchinson, Maxine Peake, Michael Maynard, Phil Davis, Robin Soans, Roger Allam, Simon Callow, Thomas Wheatley and Timothy West.

The research team was led by Dr Derek Paget, working with Prof. Jonathan Bignell, Prof. Lib Taylor and Postdoctoral Researcher Dr Heather Sutherland.  The link to access the interviews is:

A brief description of the ‘Acting with Facts’ research project can be found at:


AHRC Project – Spaces of Television Launches New Blog

The AHRC-funded research project Spaces of Television has launched a new blog in order to share some of its exciting findings with the public.

Based in the department and led by Professor Jonathan Bignell, alongside Professor James Chapman (University of Leicester) and Professor Stephen Lacey (University of Glamorgan) the project examines television fiction produced in the UK from 1955-94. It analyses how spaces of production (in TV studios and on location) conditioned the form and visual style of programmes, considering issues such as technology and liveness.

Edited and written by the project’s post doctoral researchers Leah Panos and Billy Smart, with contributions by the whole team the blog will unfold with some of the team’s archival research and interviews, including a chance to revisit some forgotten classics. We start off with two posts on the ITV private eye series Public Eye (1965-1975), hugely popular at the time, yet now almost forgotten: A discussion of the programme’s use of location recording and Part I of an interview with creator and prolific British television writer Roger Marshall (The Avengers, The Sweeney, The Professionals, Armchair Theatre).