Saturday 1 October 2016

Jeremy Irons: EU debate turning into 'game show' between Cameron and Johnson

Published 16/03/2016 | 09:01

Jeremy Irons said he was
Jeremy Irons said he was "a little bit disappointed by the standard of debate"

Jeremy Irons has criticised David Cameron and Boris Johnson for making a "game show" out of the EU referendum.

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The Oscar-winning actor, previously a donor to the Labour Party, told BBC Radio 4's Today about his disillusionment with politics.

When asked for his point of view about Britain's membership of the EU, the 67-year-old said voters were not being shown "respect" by the prime minister and the mayor of London, politicians on both sides of the argument.

"I'm dithering at the moment like many people," he admitted.

The Isle of Wight-born star added: "I'm a little bit disappointed by the standard of debate. It seems to be being turned to a certain extent into a game show between Mr Cameron and Mr Johnson.

"I would like our politicians to respect us as voters and not play it as some sort of game show."

Irons won an Academy Award for best actor when he played accused murderer Claus von Bulow in 1990 movie Reversal Of Fortune.

He also took home multiple awards for the role, but is not as keen on accepting accolades within the honours system.

On the subject of a knighthood, he said: "I became an actor to be a rogue and a vagabond so I don't think it would be apt for the establishment to pull me in as one of their own, for I ain't."

Irons is returning to his roots to head the cast of Bristol Old Vic's production of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night, directed by Richard Eyre.

"I leapt at it," he told Radio 4. "The icing on the cake was that Richard wanted to do it at the Bristol Old Vic which is where I started."

Trained at the Bristol Old Vic theatre school, the role of Charles Ryder in ITV's lauded 1981 adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited, featuring Lord Olivier and Sir John Gielgud, gave Irons his major television breakthrough.

He made his Broadway debut in 1984 in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, for which he received a Tony Award for best actor.

Long Day's Journey Into Night is considered one of the most powerful American plays of the 20th century.

It is being staged from March 23 until April 23 as part of Bristol Old Vic's 250th anniversary season.

:: BBC Radio 4 Today is broadcast on weekdays from 6am to 9am and on Saturdays from 7am to 9am.

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