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Christopher Eccleston: I never thought anyone would cast me in a comedy

The actor stars in the upcoming BBC series Dodger, which will air on CBBC.

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Christopher Eccleston plays Fagin (NBCUniversal International Studios/PA)

Christopher Eccleston plays Fagin (NBCUniversal International Studios/PA)

Christopher Eccleston plays Fagin (NBCUniversal International Studios/PA)

Christopher Eccleston has said as a young actor he took himself “far, far too seriously”.

The former Doctor Who and Our Friends In The North actor, 57, stars in CBBC’s upcoming Dickens drama, Dodger.

He plays criminal organiser Fagin in the series, which is an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist.

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Programme Name: Dodger – TX: n/a – Episode: Gallery (No. 1) – Picture Shows: Fagin (CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON), Jack Dawkins / Dodger (BILLY JENKINS) – (C) NBCUniversal International Studios – Photographer: NBCUniversal International Studios

Programme Name: Dodger – TX: n/a – Episode: Gallery (No. 1) – Picture Shows: Fagin (CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON), Jack Dawkins / Dodger (BILLY JENKINS) – (C) NBCUniversal International Studios – Photographer: NBCUniversal International Studios

Programme Name: Dodger – TX: n/a – Episode: Gallery (No. 1) – Picture Shows: Fagin (CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON), Jack Dawkins / Dodger (BILLY JENKINS) – (C) NBCUniversal International Studios – Photographer: NBCUniversal International Studios

Asked about his iteration of Fagin, who is “funny” in the series, and whether he prefers comedic roles of late, he told Radio Times: “As I’ve gone through life, my view has definitely become tragicomic.

“As a young actor, in my pursuit of the Oscar and Baftas and all that, I thought what I had to be was serious. And I took myself far, far too seriously.

“I thought that great acting was straight acting. I now think the opposite.

“I talked about Rhys (Thomas) and Lucy (Montgomery) already but they gave me the opportunity to do comedy with (BBC4 mockumentary) Brian Pern and I’m forever grateful.

“Because I am the most miserable man in British television, as you know. I never thought anyone would cast me in a comedy.”

He said his children, Albert and Esme, are not fans of him doing accents, as they “just want me to be dad”.

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This week’s cover of the Radio Times magazine.

This week’s cover of the Radio Times magazine.

This week’s cover of the Radio Times magazine.

He told the publication: “They will not believe me in any role I play, they can always see the cracks and the faults. They are, along with my mum, my toughest audience.

“I will get notes on Dodger from them all, you can be sure.”

Dodger airs on CBBC and BBC iPlayer from February 6.

The full interview is in this week’s Radio Times.


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