Neil Morrissey
Morrissey in 2011
Born
Neil Anthony Morrissey

(1962-07-04) 4 July 1962 (age 62)
Stafford, England
Occupations
  • Actor
  • businessman
  • narrator
  • presenter
Years active1983–present
Notable workMen Behaving Badly
Bob the Builder
Spouse
(m. 1987; div. 1991)
PartnerAmanda Holden (2000)
Children1

Neil Anthony Morrissey (born 4 July 1962) is an English actor, businessman, narrator and presenter. He is known for his role as Tony in Men Behaving Badly. Other notable acting roles include Deputy Head Eddie Lawson in the BBC One school-based drama series Waterloo Road, Nigel Morton in Line of Duty, and Rocky in Boon. Morrissey also provided the voice of the titular character, Roley, Lofty, and others in Bob the Builder.

Early life

Morrissey was born in Stafford[1] on 4 July 1962,[2] the third of four sons of Irish parents who were both psychiatric nurses. He and his older brother Stephen spent much of their childhood in separate children's homes,[3] Morrissey spending most of his time at Penkhull Children's Home,[3][4] under the care of Margaret Cartlidge.[4]

He attended Thistley Hough High School in Penkhull,[2] where he passed all nine CSEs with O-Level-equivalent grades,[3] despite purportedly being downgraded from taking GCE exams on account of his being raised in care.[3] He went on to further study for his A-levels at the City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College.[2]

Morrissey had developed his skills and reputation as an actor through his teenage years at Stoke Schools Theatre, Stoke Repertory Theatre,[3] performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1979.[2] He further studied acting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama,[2] after receiving an educational grant, and he 'sofa-surfed' with friends, and performed street theatre, to survive first year.[3]

Career

Acting

In 1984, Morrissey, in his film debut, played Able Seaman Matthew Quintal in historical mariner drama The Bounty,[5] alongside Mel Gibson, Anthony Hopkins and Laurence Olivier.[5] In 1987, Morrissey rose to notoriety as dim biker Rocky in the ITV drama series Boon,[6] alongside Michael Elphick.[6] Many of the actors from Boon, were also involved in the 1990 British spoof horror film I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle, where he played the lead role of Noddy.[6] In 1992, Morrissey took on the role of Tony in Men Behaving Badly, created to replace Harry Enfield, who departed after series one.[7] The series became one of the most popular UK sitcoms of the 90s and Morrissey became a national celebrity.[7]

During the early 1990s he appeared as "Sammy the Chamois" in Noel Edmonds' Noel's House Party.[8]

In 1998, Morrissey starred in the John Godber rugby league film Up 'n' Under.[6] Neil also voice Wilfred Toadflax and Dusty Dogwood in Brambly Hedge (1997), which was produced by HIT Entertainment. Because of this, Neil voiced several characters in the HIT Entertainment children's television series Bob the Builder,[9] including the lead character, Bob, for over a decade between 1999 and 2011.[6] During his voice acting role, he achieved two UK number 1 singles, with "Can We Fix It?" (which was the 2000 UK Christmas No 1), and "Mambo No 5" in 2001.[9] He later provided voice narration for Morph,[10] and Maisy.[6]

In 2000, Morrissey starred in TV comedy film Happy Birthday, Shakespeare, where he played a coach driver, in a cast that included Amanda Holden, Les Dennis, and Freddie Highmore.[11] In 2002, Morrissey returned to TV screens in the drama series Paradise Heights,[12] which ran for two series. He then had a starring role in the BBC sitcom Carrie and Barry from 2004 until 2005.[12]

His work in West End theatre work includes Speed, Robin Hood, The Daughter In-Law and his critically acclaimed West End performance in A Passionate Woman. In 2005 Morrissey performed in Victoria Wood's musical adaptation of Acorn Antiques alongside Julie Walters, Celia Imrie, Duncan Preston and Josie Lawrence.[13] Morrissey took over the role of Nathan Detroit from Nigel Lindsay in the London revival of Guys and Dolls from March to June 2006.[13]

In 2007, he appeared in British TV show Skins,[12] as Marcus Ainsworth, the father of Hannah Murray's character Cassie Ainsworth.[2] He reprised the role in 2013, when appearing in both parts of Skins Pure.[6] In 2007, he appeared in the BBC One school-based drama series, Waterloo Road as the new deputy headteacher, Eddie Lawson.[12]

In January 2012, Morrissey took on the role of Fagin in Lionel Bart's musical Oliver at the Palace Theatre in Manchester.[14] Morrissey starred alongside Adrian Edmondson, Robert Webb and Miles Jupp in the play Neville's Island at Duke of York's Theatre, London during Autumn 2014.[15]

In 2015, he played a character called Keith, who is Johnny (Joe Maw) and Tee's (Mia McKenna Bruce) villainous mother's former boyfriend, in the CBBC sitcom The Dumping Ground.[16] In December 2015, Morrissey starred in BBC Two's comedy-drama A Gert Lush Christmas, playing the father of Russell Howard's character.[17]

In 2016, he joined the cast of Grantchester for the second series, where he played the role of Harding Redmond.[18] Also in 2016, he took part in the second series of ITV's reality series Bear Grylls: Mission Survive.[19]

From 2017, Morrissey played Greg McConnell in ITV's The Good Karma Hospital,[1] for several seasons until 2022. He portrayed Peter Carr in Series 3 of Unforgotten in 2018.[6] In 2021, he starred as Frank Stevenson in series four of the BBC series The Syndicate, starring alongside Katherine Rose Morley.[13] In 2023, he was the subject of DNA Journey with Adrian Dunbar.[20]

Morrissey played the part of Captain Perrot, an accomplice of Colonel Blood, in The Crown Jewels, a humorous play written by screenwriter Simon Nye and performed at the Garrick Theatre in London in 2023, about Blood's theft of the Crown Jewels) in 1671. The part of Blood was played by Aidan McArdle, Al Murray played King Charles II, and the cast also included Mel Giedroyc.

Spoof show

On 1 April 2006, a BBC Three spoof programme titled Neil Morrissey's Secret documented sides of Morrissey's life that were previously unknown to the world at large.[21] It alleged he has a house, wife and two children in Jordan,[21] as well as a degree in botany,[21] for which he had studied for 20 years.[21] These studies were integral to his motivation to find a breakthrough in anti-ageing, which supposedly occurred naturally amongst the local population.[21] and he had invented a cream called The Essence which contains extracts of a plant found only in a remote Jordanian village.[21] In the documentary the cream's acolytes include celebrities such as Jane Seymour, Gloria Hunniford and Philippa Forrester.[21] The hoax documentary was launched on 1 April, and despite the suspicions caused by this date as April Fool's Day, it still managed to convince some people that it was true.[21]

Business

Ye Olde Punch Bowl Inn, the lease of which was part-owned by Morrissey
The Plume of Feathers in Barlaston
The Plume of Feathers in Barlaston

Morrissey's love of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas led him to buy up numerous properties in the village of Laugharne, including the Hurst Hotel, the New Three Mariners pub and Brown's Hotel in April 2004 for £670,000.[22] In October 2006, it was announced that the business had put Brown's Hotel on the market to finance the redevelopment of the Hurst Hotel,[23] and the expansion of the private members' club, Hurst House in Covent Garden, London.[24]

In July 2008, with delays encountered on the construction of Hurst House-at-the-Mill, a luxury hotel in Hertfordshire due to open in 2009, the Laugharne-based assets of the Hurst House group went into a packaged administration. The assets were subsequently bought by new investors, resulting in the end of Morrissey's association with Laugharne.[25]

Morrissey part-owned the lease on the Ye Olde Punch Bowl Inn in Marton, North Yorkshire. From this base came the Morrissey Fox range of real ale, developed by Morrissey and chef Richard Fox which is still in production. In June 2009, it was reported that his Welsh pub had failed and the lease to Ye Olde Punch Bowl Inn was handed back to the owner after just 18 months on 22 October 2009.[26]

Morrissey avoided bankruptcy over his failed business ventures but entered an IVA.[27] Morrissey went on to own a chain of pubs in Staffordshire, including The Plume of Feathers in Barlaston,[1] and later The Old Bramshall Inn in Bramshall. The latter opened its doors as a Neil Morrissey pub on 28 June 2018, an event which Morrissey attended. In December 2021 the leasehold was sold and the pub was renamed 'The Butchers Arms'.[28]

Personal life

Morrissey married Amanda Noar in 1987 after meeting her when she guested in an episode of Boon; the couple have a son born in 1989. The couple divorced in 1991. He then became engaged to actress Elizabeth Carling, whom he had first met in 1989, when she too was working on Boon. They parted on good terms, and she later guest-starred alongside him on Men Behaving Badly. His subsequent affairs have been well documented by the British tabloids, including dating Rachel Weisz after starring together in My Summer with Des in 1998. They lived together at his flat in Crouch End, north London.[29] Morrissey had an affair with Amanda Holden in 2000, whom he met filming Happy Birthday, Shakespeare,[11] leading to her divorce in 2003 from comedian Les Dennis.[30]

Morrissey's older brother Stephen died in 1997 following a drug overdose.[2] Morrissey has numerous tattoos. According to one version of their origin, he applied them himself with needles and Indian ink. On his left arm are his first name and a blob which was going to be his initials before it became infected, causing him to require a tetanus jab. On his right is a squiggle which is a reversed version of The Saint logo.[29] Morrissey himself says the tattoos were done by other boys at the children's home. The boys there apparently saw that he did not have a tattoo and so gave him the option of a tattoo or a beating. He decided on the tattoo and now regrets not taking the other option.[31]

In 2006, Morrissey was awarded an honorary degree from Staffordshire University.[32][33][34] He is a supporter of Crystal Palace.[35] A fan of real ale, in 2011 he produced a real ale with the club called Palace Ale.[36]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1984 The Bounty Seaman Matthew Quintal Film debut
1987 Playing Away Ian
1990 I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle Noddy, aka Nick Oddie
1992 The Ballad of Kid Divine: The Cockney Cowboy Cass Malone
1994 Staggered Jeff the Video Biographer
1995 Trafford Tanzi Dean Rebel TV film
1996 Roger Roger Phil
1997 The Vanishing Man Nick Cameron
The Chest John Croft
1998 Jack and the Beanstalk Jack
Up 'n' Under Steve
My Summer with Des Martin TV film
1999 Hunting Venus Charlotte
The Match Piss Off (Mr. Doris)
The Flint Street Nativity Adrian Atherton / Wise Man 3 TV film
The Nearly Complete and Utter History of Everything Director
2000 Happy Birthday Shakespeare Will Green
2001 Bob the Builder: A Christmas to Remember Bob (UK)/ Lofty (UK)/ Roley (UK)/ Farmer Pickles (UK) Direct-to-video animated film (voice only)
Another World Captain Ronald Brimstone Animated film (voice only)
2002 Triggermen Pete Maynard
Bob the Builder: Live! Bob / Lofty / Roley Animated film (voice only)
2003 Bob the Builder: The Knights of Can-A-Lot Bob (UK)/ Lofty (UK)/ Roley (UK)/ Farmer Pickles (UK) Animated TV film (voice only)
2004 Bob the Builder: When Bob Became a Builder Bob (UK)/ Lofty (UK)/ Roley (UK)/ Farmer Pickles (UK) Direct-to-video animated film (voice only)
Monkey Trousers Various roles TV film
Bob the Builder: Snowed Under: The Bobblesburg Winter Games Bob (UK)/ Lofty (UK)/ Roley (UK) Direct-to-video animated film (voice only)
2005 The Adventures of William Shakespeare Richard III
Bob the Builder: Bob's Big Plan Bob (UK)/ Lofty (UK)/ Roley (UK)/ Scruffy (UK/US) Direct-to-video animated film (voice only)
2006 Acorn Antiques: The Musical John / Tony Direct-to-video film
Bob the Builder: Built to Be Wild Bob (UK)/ Lofty (UK)/ Roley (UK) Direct-to-video animated film (voice only; Singing voice US dub)
2007 Bob the Builder: Scrambler to the Rescue Bob (UK)/ Lofty (UK)/ Roley (UK)/ Farmer Pickles (UK)/ Angelo Sabatini (UK) Direct-to-video animated film (voice only)
2008 Clubbed Simon
Bob the Builder: Race to the Finish Bob (UK)/ Lofty (UK)/ Roley (UK)/ Angelo Sabatini (UK), Micky Picker (UK) Direct-to-video animated film (voice only)
2010 Inn Mates Brian TV film
2011 The Adventures of William Shakespeare Vol. 2 Richard III
2012 Run for Your Wife Gary Gardner
2015 I Am Urban Doc
A Gert Lush Christmas Dave Colman TV film
2016 As One Douglas Short film
2017 Diana and I Colin Taylor TV film
2019 Crucible of the Vampire Robert
Eurbane's Big Show! Bob the Builder Animated film (voice only)

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1984 Juliet Bravo Oliver Guest appearance – 1 episode, series 5; "No Peace"
Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense Policeman Guest appearance – 1 episode; "Paint Me a Murder"
Ellis Island Sean Miniseries – 1 episode
1985 Roll Over Beethoven Youth Guest appearance – 1 episode
Travellers by Night Flick Miniseries – 2 episodes
1986 C.A.T.S. Eyes Trevor Guest appearance – 1 episode; series 2
1987 Pulaski Tarquin Taylor Guest appearance – 1 episode: "The Price of Fame"
1987–1995 Boon Rocky Cassidy Recurring role – 74 episodes
1988 Gentlemen and Players Terry 1 episode; "Stags at Bay"
Crossbow Peter aka William Tell. 1 episode; "Masterplan"
1992 Cluedo Gordon Ferrar Guest appearance – 1 episode; series 3
1992–1999 Men Behaving Badly Tony Smart Leading role – 38 episodes[1]
1993 Comedy Playhouse Danny Guest appearance – 1 episode; "Stuck on You"
The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer Ozzy Osbourne / Himself Guest appearance – 1 episode; "Food and Drink"
A Woman's Guide to Adultery David 3 episodes
1993–1997 Noel's House Party Sammy the Chamois (pron. "shammy") / Himself 8 episodes
1994 Paris Rochet 6 episodes
1995 The Morph Files Narrator Recurring role – 25 episodes (voice only)
1996–1997 Soul Music Mort Recurring role – 7 episodes (voice only)
1997 Morph TV with Tony Hart Narrator for the Morph segments Recurring role (voice only)[10]
1997–1998 Brambly Hedge Wilfred Toadflax 2 episodes (voice only)
1997–2011 Bob the Builder Bob (UK)/ Roley (UK)/ Lofty (UK)/ Farmer Pickles (UK) Leading role – 201 episodes (voice only)
1998 The Vanishing Man Nick Cameron Recurring role – 6 episodes
1999 Maisy Narrator (UK version) 3 episodes (voice only)[6]
The Comedy Trail: A Shaggy Dog Story Tony Smart TV Special
2001 Look and Read Zzaap Guest appearance – 1 episode (voice only)
2002–2003 Paradise Heights / The Eustace Bros. Charlie Eustace Recurring role – 6 episodes
2003 Murder in Mind Stephen Kite Guest appearance – 1 episode; series 3
2003–2008 Bob the Builder: Bob's Mini Projects Bob / Micky Picker / Lofty 17 episodes (voice only)
2004 Unsolved History Narrator Guest appearance – 1 episode; "Aztecs: Temple of Blood"
2004–2005 Carrie & Barry Barry Recurring role – 12 episodes
2005 Bob the Builder: Project Build It Bob (UK)/ Roley (UK)/ Lofty (UK)/ Farmer Pickles (UK) Leading role (voice only)
2006 Petrolheads Host 6 episodes
2007 Skins Marcus Ainsworth Guest appearance – 1 episode; series 1
Neighbours Vicar Guest appearance – 1 episode; "Births, Deaths and Marriages"
2007–2009 Waterloo Road Eddie Lawson Recurring role – 40 episodes
2010–2011 The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! Aurillia / Elmore / Gary 11 episodes (voice only)
2011 Inspector George Gently Tony Hexton Guest appearance – 1 episode; series 4
2012 Me and Mrs. Jones Jason 6 episodes
2012–2016 Line of Duty DC Nigel Morton 9 episodes
2013 Skins Pure Marcus Ainsworth 2 episodes
2014 Comedy Playhouse Jez Guest appearance – 1 episode; "Over to Bill"
Men Behaving Badly Tony Smart Stand Up to Cancer & Feeling Nuts Comedy Night Special
2015 The Dumping Ground Keith Guest appearance – 1 episode; series 3
Death in Paradise Disco Biscuit / Duncan Roberts Guest appearance – 1 episode; series 4
2016 Grantchester Harding Redmond Guest appearance – 5 episodes; series 2
Bear Grylls: Mission Survive Himself - Participant Guest appearance – 1 episode; series 2
The Night Manager Harry Palfrey Miniseries – 3 episodes
2017 Midsomer Murders Mitch McAllister 1 episode; “Crime and Punishment”
2017–2018 Striking Out Vincent Pike, QC Recurring role – 10 episodes
2017–2022 The Good Karma Hospital Greg McConnell Recurring role – 24 episodes[1]
2018 Moving On Frank Barton 1 episode; "The Registrar"
Unforgotten Peter Carr 6 episodes
2019 The Trial of Christine Keeler Colin Keeler Episode 6
2020 Penance Luke Douglas Miniseries – all 3 episodes
Finding Joy Young Man 1 episode; "Reborn"
2021 The Syndicate Frank Stevenson 6 episodes
The Long Call Christopher Reasley 4 episodes
2023 DNA Journey Himself 1 episode; "Neil Morrissey and Adrian Dunbar"[37]
The Chelsea Detective Ross Pickard 1 episode; "The Reliable Witness"
Love Rat Pete Miniseries – 4 episodes
2024 Finders Keepers Martin Stone Miniseries – Main role – all 4 episodes[38]

Discography

Studio albums

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
UK
[39]
AUS
[40]
IRE
[41]
NZ
[42]
Bob the Builder: The Album
(as Bob the Builder)
4 1 59 32
Never Mind the Breeze Blocks
(as Bob the Builder)
87
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Singles

Single Year Peak chart
positions
Certifications Album
UK
[39]
AUS
[45]
IRE
[41]
"Can We Fix It?"
(as Bob the Builder)
2000 1 3 Bob the Builder: The Album
"Mambo No. 5"
(as Bob the Builder)
2001 1 2 4
"Big Fish Little Fish"
(as Bob the Builder)
2008 81 Never Mind the Breeze Blocks
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "Neil Morrissey explains why he loves Staffordshire". Express and Star. 23 March 2017. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Hannah Hiles (23 January 2022). "Neil Morrissey's colourful life from children's home to kids' TV favourite". stokesentinel.co.uk.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Raekha Prasad (22 March 2011). "Neil Morrissey revisits his children's home roots". The Guardian.
  4. ^ a b "BBC Two – Neil Morrissey: Care Home Kid, Episode 1". BBC. 28 March 2011.
  5. ^ a b "The Bounty 1984". avclub.com. Retrieved 22 May 2023.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Neil Morrissey credits". tvguide.com. Retrieved 22 May 2023.
  7. ^ a b Kate Abbott (18 March 2013). "How we made Men Behaving Badly". theguardian.com.
  8. ^ "Which celebs are tough enough?". The Guardian. 24 February 2016. Retrieved 16 May 2024.
  9. ^ a b "Bob The Builder Official Chart History". officialcharts.com. Archived from the original on 15 April 2023. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  10. ^ a b "TV Toons Morph". toonhound.com. Retrieved 22 May 2023.
  11. ^ a b "Happy Birthday Shakespeare (BBC1 2000, Amanda Holden, Neil Morrissey)". memorabletv.com. 28 June 2016.
  12. ^ a b c d "Neil Morrissey Corporate Bookings". independenttalent.com. Retrieved 22 May 2023.
  13. ^ a b c "Neil Morrissey in The Crown Jewels". westendtheatre.com. Retrieved 6 April 2023.
  14. ^ "Oliver!". britishtheatreguide.info. 25 January 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2023.
  15. ^ "Duke Of York's Theatre Schedule & Tickets for Events in 2020/21". Cheapoticketing.com.
  16. ^ "BBC – Neil Morrissey and Charlie Brooks to guest star in series three of The Dumping Ground". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  17. ^ "RUSSELL HOWARD, NEIL MORRISSEY, GREG DAVIES, KERRY HOWARD & SOPHIE THOMPSON STAR IN A NEW ONE-OFF CHRISTMAS SPECIAL FOR BBC TWO". Avalonuk.com. 11 November 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  18. ^ "Neil Morrissey joins the cast of Grantchester". Itv.com. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  19. ^ "Michelle Collins, Chelsee Healey join Bear Grylls show". Digitalspy.com. 18 February 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  20. ^ "DNA Journey". itv.com. Retrieved 8 March 2023.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h "Neil Morrissey's Secret". BBC. 4 April 2006. Archived from the original on 4 April 2006.
  22. ^ "Morrissey buys Dylan Thomas' local". News.bbc.co.uk. 22 April 2004.
  23. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Archived from the original on 8 February 2017. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  24. ^ "Actor Morrissey to sell Dylan pub". News.bbc.co.uk. 16 October 2006.
  25. ^ "Morrissey ends Laugharne connection". Western Mail. 11 August 2008. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  26. ^ "Neil Morrissey gives up the Punch Bowl". Thepublican.com. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  27. ^ "Neil Morrissey 'opts for IVA to repay £2.5m'". The Daily Telegraph. London. 17 August 2009.
  28. ^ "Pub once owned by Line of duty star Neil Morrissey is transformed by new publicans". staffordshire-live.co.uk. 20 December 2022. Retrieved 20 December 2022.
  29. ^ a b Interview: Neil Morrissey The Observer
  30. ^ "Holden and Dennis marriage ends". BBC News. 27 December 2002. Retrieved 16 July 2010.
  31. ^ Neil Morrissey on Bob and behaving badly Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  32. ^ Recipients of Honorary Awards Archived 22 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine staffs.ac.uk
  33. ^ Horizon Archived 16 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine staffs.ac.uk
  34. ^ Honorary degree for media stars BBC
  35. ^ "Famous Football Fans". The-football-club.com. Archived from the original on 26 June 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  36. ^ "Crystal Palace | Manc Ale Is Coming To South London". Crystal Palace F.C. 12 July 2011. Archived from the original on 21 November 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  37. ^ "DNA Journey". itv.com. Retrieved 8 March 2023.
  38. ^ "First look at Neil Morrissey and James Buckley in drama Finders Keepers". radiotimes.com. Retrieved 10 January 2024.
  39. ^ a b "Chart Log UK: Darren B - David Byrne". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
  40. ^ "australian-charts.com: Australian charts portal". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
  41. ^ a b "irishcharts - Discography Bob the Builder". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
  42. ^ "charts.nz - New Zealand charts portal". charts.nz. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
  43. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2001 Albums". ARIA Charts. Archived from the original on 12 November 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
  44. ^ a b c "BPI search results". British Phonographic Industry. Archived from the original on 1 September 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
  45. ^ "australian-charts.com - Australian charts portal". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
  46. ^ a b "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2001 Singles". ARIA Charts. Archived from the original on 5 February 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2011.