Shaun Williamson
Williamson at an event in 2008
Born (1965-11-29) 29 November 1965 (age 55)
Maidstone, Kent, England
Occupation
  • Actor
  • Singer
  • Author
  • Newsreader
  • Broadcaster
Years active1989–present
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Spouse(s)
  • Melanie Sacre
    (m. 1997; div. 2013)
  • Adele Seager
    (m. 2018)
Children3

Shaun Williamson (born 29 November 1965) is an English actor, singer, author, quizzer and broadcaster. He is best known for his role as Barry Evans in EastEnders and as a satirical version of himself in the BBC/HBO sitcom Extras.

Early life

Williamson was born in Park Wood, Maidstone. He attend Holy Family RC Primary School, followed by St Simon Stock Catholic School where he frequently played truant. Following school he became a postman, but developed a drink problem, consuming 12 pints of beer a day by the time he was 18. He later said he joined the Royal Navy at that point "to break that cycle".[1] He completed his training at HMS Raleigh. He intended to become a helicopter pilot but was rejected when it was discovered he was colour blind. He subsequently worked in various jobs such as a Bluecoat for Pontins, as a rep for Club 18-30 and one season at Camp America. Aged 26 he was working for Safeway when he decided to enlist at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art.[2]

Career

Television

Williamson is widely known for his portrayal of the foolish, hapless Barry Evans in the BBC soap opera EastEnders, a role that he played from 1994 to 2004. This was Williamson's second role in the soap; he previously had a brief role as a paramedic earlier in 1994. In 2009, he stated that he had no regrets about leaving the show.[3]

Williamson was the subject of This Is Your Life in 2001 when he was surprised by Michael Aspel whilst working on the set of EastEnders.[4] In 2004, Williamson appeared on and won an episode of Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes, impersonating the singer Meat Loaf. Williamson finished third in the 2007 series of Comic Relief does Fame Academy. Other television roles have included parts in the detective series Inspector Morse, the ITV drama London's Burning, the BBC sitcom Waiting for God, and the Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant comedy Extras as a send-up of himself.

Williamson competed in Celebrity Big Brother 20, and became the eighth housemate to be evicted, on day 23. Most recently, in 2020, Williamson appeared as recurring character Chris Smith, future father-in-law to the titular character played by Spencer Jones in the BBC Two sitcom, Mister Winner. He reprised the role from the pilot which had previously been broadcast in 2017 on BBC One.[5]

Stage

Stage roles have included Monty the DJ in the West End run and UK tour of Saturday Night Fever, and appearing at Canterbury's Marlowe Theatre from December 2003 to January 2004 in a pantomime production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, alongside Toyah Willcox.[6] In 2006 he starred in the pantomime Dick Whittington at The Playhouse in Weston-super-Mare. He returned to the Marlowe Theatre from December 2007 to January 2008, in Aladdin, alongside Stephen Mulhern. During 2008 he played Nathan Detroit in the touring production of Guys and Dolls, having already appeared in the part in the West End. In 2008–2009, he was again appearing in Aladdin, this time at the Wyvern Theatre, Swindon. In May 2006, Williamson played the lead in the play Road to Nirvana at The King's Head Theatre London and in October 2006, appeared in a sketch as part of the charity benefit The Secret Policeman's Ball which was staged at the Royal Albert Hall.[7]

In 2009, Williamson toured the UK playing habitual criminal Norman Stanley Fletcher in a stage version of the classic TV comedy Porridge. The script had been newly written by the series' co-authors, Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais.[8]

In 2012, he toured in a stage revival of the Ealing Studios film The Ladykillers.

He also played the roles of Baron Bomburst and Lord Scrumptious in the UK tour production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.[9]

Radio

In 2018, Williamson wrote a BBC radio drama series titled Eden's End, set in the Kent hop picking season of 1939. The series starred Shane Taylor (Band of Brothers), Steve Nallon (Spitting Image) and Candis Nergaard (Call the Midwife). The murder mystery series was directed by Samuel Supple and produced by Violafilms.[citation needed]

He was a guest on the Radio 4 programme Saturday Live on Saturday 3 October 2020.[citation needed]

Quizzing

Williamson spent a year competing in the UK Quiz Grand Prix as research for his book A Matter Of Facts which details the world of elite general knowledge quizzing competitions.[10] During this time he became a Top 50 ranked player in the UK. During an appearance on ITV's Beat The Chasers (which he won), the Dark Destroyer described him as "celebrity quizzing royalty".[11]

Personal life

Williamson has three children and has been married twice. His first child, Gary, was born in 1987 when Williamson was 22. Gary's mother was a circus performer with whom Williamson was in a relationship. After breaking up she told Williamson of her pregnancy but Williamson left to pursue a career in America, promising to care for the child on his return. When he returned the circus performer had married another man, and this man was listed as Gary's father on the birth certificate.[12][13] His true parentage was revealed to Williamson in 2013. Williamson subsequently married his manager Melanie Sacre, and they were married for 16 years. They have two children together, Joe and Sophie. He married Adele, his second wife, in 2018.[14]

Filmography

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1989 Crime Monthly Taxi Driver Episode: 'Mirza Murder Casebook'
1994 Waiting for God Brown Episode: 'A Royal Visit?'
London's Burning Chris
1994-2004 EastEnders Barry Evans 656 episodes
1994-2008 The Bill Dave Monks / SO19 Officer 3 episodes
1995 Inspector Morse Garage Cashier Episode: 'The Way Through the Woods'
2002 The Basil Brush Show Evil Furniture Genius Episode: 'The Date'
2005 GB3-Being Young Mr. Dozey Television film
Funland Cliff Series 1, episode 2
2005-2007 Extras Barry / Shaun Williamson / Barry from Eastenders 10 episodes
2007 Holby City Larry Randle Episode: 'Mirror Man'
2008 Fairy Tales Sava Stojkovic Episode: 'Rapunzel'
The Slammer Jimmy Jinx
Dani's House Clown Episode: 'Amnesia'
2008-2014 Doctors Roy Marlin / Walter Twiddle / Bob Robbins 3 episodes
2009-2011 Scoop Digby Digworth 39 episodes
2011 New Tricks Martin Fallon Episode: 'The Gentleman Vanishes'
2011-2013 Life's Too Short Shaun Williamson 5 episodes
2013 Celebrity Juice Barry Episode: 'Coronation St. vs. EastEnders'
Sooty Barrie Bonkers Episode: 'The Fancy Dress Party'
2014 Houdini Riley 2 episodes
Plebs Balbus Episode: 'The Best Man'
2016 Sexy Murder Brian Jessop 6 episodes
2017 Casualty Terry Boydell Episode: 'The Stag, the Dog and the Sheep'
Comedy Playhouse Chris Smith Episode: 'Mister Winner'
2018 Moving On Geoff Episode: 'Two Fat Ladies'
2020 Mister Winner Chris Smith 2 episodes
2021 Beat The Chasers: Celebrity Special Himself; Contestant; Winner 1 Episode

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1996 Stella Does Tricks Mr. Peters' driver
2008 Daylight Robbery Police Chief
2009 The Invention of Lying Richard Bellison
2009 Uncut Marc
2017 The Blazing Cannons Mu Mu Manager
2018 This Is Jayde: The One Hit Wonder Shaun Also writer and producer
2018 Paying Mr. McGetty Himself
2021 Cold Sun Alex Huntsworth

References

  1. ^ "EastEnders star says navy saved him from binge drinking". RTE. 6 October 2020. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  2. ^ "The Mirror, "Celebrity Big Brother's Shaun Williamson shows amazing tiger tattoo before revealing the shocking reason he was kicked out of the navy"".
  3. ^ "Williamson: 'I don't miss EastEnders' – Soaps News". Digital Spy. 9 April 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  4. ^ "Shaun Williamson". Bigredbook.info. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  5. ^ Guide, British Comedy. "Mister Winner cast and crew credits". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  6. ^ "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". Event archive. Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, UK. 4 December 2003. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 8 December 2008.
  7. ^ "BBC- Comic Relief does Fame Academy".
  8. ^ McMullen, Marion (4 September 2009). "Ex-EastEnder Shaun Williamson to star in Porridge at Belgrade Theatre". Coventry Telegraph. Reach plc. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  9. ^ "The Official Website | Chitty Chitty Bang Bang the Musical – Home". Archived from the original on 19 March 2016.
  10. ^ "The Yorkshire Post, "Shaun Williamson on quizzing, meeting his secret son and why he's not expecting a call from Line of Duty"".
  11. ^ "The Chase Youtube Channel, "Shaun Williamson BEATS Five Chasers For £120,000"".
  12. ^ "EastEnders star reunited with his long lost son". RTÉ.ie. 28 September 2020. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  13. ^ "EastEnders legend Shaun Williamson opens up about meeting secret 32-year-old son for the first time". Entertainment Daily. 27 September 2020. Retrieved 18 June 2021.
  14. ^ "The Yorkshire Post, "Shaun Williamson on quizzing, meeting his secret son and why he's not expecting a call from Line of Duty"".