The preponderance of ‘posh’ actors is a subject of an ongoing debate. Rather appropriately, ‘posh’ actors are in the spotlight? Indeed, such ‘posh’ success could easily be extended to all areas of public life, (half of our Olympic medal winners hailed from private schools) – politicians and the media are mostly ‘posh’ and don’t get me started on comedians! But it is actors being scrutinized just now – with Eton going up against Harrow for this seasons Oscar, represented by Redmayne and Cumberbatch.
Fellow Etonian thesps being Damian Lewis, Dominic West, Tom Hiddlestone (and others I expect) and outside Eastenders and Corrie – our big and small screens are dominated by actors from privileged backgrounds.
And is seems that this dominance has started to grate. Chris Bryant, the labour MP (privately educated himself), Julie Walters and Sir Ian McKellen have all waded in with their support.
And whether I agree with it or not, I am quietly pleased and even relieved that my son, Tom attended a London Comprehensive school – which might well be an inadvertent upside of me being unable to afford a private education for him.
This was not an ideological decision – but a pure economic one – based on the fact that in my chosen profession, I have not been funny enough – which brings me to another unpleasant feature of show business – nepotism – an even uglier outcome of privilege.
I say this because I caught a snippet of the National TVs Awards this week – and saw a young girl presenting a gong – a 13 yr old who is about to have her own cooking show on CBBC. Wow. Some break for a 13 year old until I realised that her surname is Ramsay and I sighed.
And so this is another upside that comes from being less successful than I might have imagined when I set out. Because if Tom’s acting career continues to develop –
Not only will he be a comprehensive schoolboy success story – (a boy done good) but equally, no one will be able to accuse him of getting on because of his old man either.
And as such, despite my best efforts, what a fab show-biz dad I have turned out to be?
And if this means that I must remain off the radar of genuine celebrity for the sake of my son? Then this is a sacrifice I will bear with good grace whilst I pray like hell that his ascent continues.