Richard Wilson: I've turned down several soaps

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 27 March 2013
Richard Wilson

Richard Wilson

Richard Wilson has turned down a number of soap opera roles because the working conditions are "horrendous" and there is not enough time to rehearse for the show

Richard Wilson has turned down several soap opera roles because the working conditions are "horrendous".

The 'One Foot in the Grave' star has had a number of offers to appear in long-running serial shows such as 'Coronation Street' but declined them because he couldn't hack the tough workload and lack of rehearsal time.

Richard said: "I did a small part in 'Emmerdale' once because I was short of cash but soap stars have a fairly horrendous schedule. My friend [Sir] Ian McKellen has appeared in 'Coronation Street'. But there is very little rehearsal and I wouldn't like that."

The 76-year-old has had parts in several films but believes his chances of becoming a huge star on the big screen are long gone because he is "not good enough" to appear in movies.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: "My film career never took off. The only big film I did was 'Passage to India'. The only reason I think is that I am not good enough, I can say with all humility - that is why I am not making film."

Richard is known for his cantankerous character Victor Meldrew - who he played in One Foot in the Grave's 10-year run from 1990 to 2000 - and admits people get annoyed with him if he refuses to say his alter-ego's classic catchphrase, "I don't believe it."

He explained: "A woman in Sheffield got very shirty with me recently because I wouldn't say it.

"She felt that as she was a licence fee payer it was my duty to say what she wanted."

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