Liz Nicholls chats to actor, dad, and all-round charming man Nigel Havers, 67, who is set to star in ART at Richmond Theatre.
February is here which brings Valentine’s Day! Do you celebrate?
“In a word: no! My wife is not interested in Valentine’s Day, thank God. We don’t bother at all. If that sounds unromantic, perhaps it would be to say that I think every day should be Valentine’s Day!”
Q. What do you enjoy most about ART?
“ART is my favourite play which is why I’ve done it so many times. It’s beautifully written by Yasmina [Reza] and one of the best comedies ever… Thirdly, it’s a joy to take part in because, being such a short play, you’re in the pub before 9pm!”
Q. You always have a lot on; how do you relax when you’re not working? Do you watch soaps?
“I don’t watch any soaps, no. It being panto season, I haven’t not worked for quite a while – I’ve forgotten how I relax! I tend to keep busy, but if I’m not lying down, I’m walking.”
Q. Does your dog accompany you much?
“Yes; she’s a black poodle who’s cut like a mongrel so people are always surprised when I tell them her breed. She’s called Charlie and a real character. I live between Wiltshire and London and we often take her to the pub with us. The Bell at Ramsbury is a lovely dog-friendly pub near us. In London there are several; we like Colbert in Sloane Square and a restaurant called Lucio’s in Fulham Road. I don’t know why more places don’t allow well-behaved dogs.”
Q. What’s the greatest lesson fatherhood has taught you?
“Agree with your daughter! Give them anything they want! Because they’ll win in the end so that little nugget will at least save you time.”
Q. Is there anywhere in the world you’d like to visit?
“I haven’t been to Vietnam and I’d like to explore that part of the world.”
Q. You’re godfather to Jack Whitehall, too. Do you see a hidden side to him?
“He’s a very bad influence on me! No; he’s a sweetheart; a really lovely man. There’s nothing secret about him because he lays it all bare in his acts. He’s very honest about his life. When he first started as a comedian, he performed at a pub in Putney and invited me to come along to watch and advise. My advice to him at the end of it was: look – don’t try to be a comedian! Well, that didn’t work and I’m glad he didn’t take it!”