Interview with Eastender Todd Carty

From Grange Hill to Sun Hill via Albert Square, Todd Carty is one of the best known faces on British television. Now he is appearing at Theatre Royal Brighton in the international smash hit musical comedy Spamalot. Here he tells us more...

You have played two of the best-known characters on TV, Tucker Jenkins in Grange Hill and Mark Fowler in EastEnders. Do people tend to recognise you for both roles or just one?

It’s a generational thing.  People over the age of 30 shout “Tucker” and younger people remember me as market trader Mark. I still get the odd “Morning murderer,” from my role as evil PC Gabriel Kent in The Bill.

Was it good to play a bad guy (PC Gabriel Kent) for a change?

It was fantastic to play the bad guy. It was good to show people I was not necessarily always the good guy. Grannies still hate me for that role.

Which was your favourite TV role?

Tucker Jenkins from Grange Hill because it turned my life and career round completely. I owe it all to Tucker.

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You were born in Ireland and moved to London as a child. Your parts have been very London-based. Do you think of yourself as Irish or as a Londoner, or both?

I think of myself as a North London Irish boy.

Aside from your long-running TV shows, you have also found time to act on stage. What is your favourite stage role?

My current role of Patsy in Spamalot. 

Patsy is the coconut-playing assistant to Marcus Brigstocke’s King Arthur What do you love most about the show?

I love singing Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, ironically one of the most popular songs played at funerals. And it is great to have enormous fun for two hours on stage every night.

Spamalot is on at Theatre Royal over Christmas, is it an antidote for families who fancy a change from panto?

Spamalot is much better than panto. There is audience participation, the humour is very silly and very very funny. It also has fantastic songs. The show appeals to everyone from 8 year olds to grandparents of 88.

You appeared in panto in Worthing and opened the town’s ice rink last year. Do you have fond memories of your times in Sussex?

Yes, I love this part of the world. You are so close to London yet never far from the sea. I love the whole coast in this area. I love coming down here with my children.

Do you have any favourite places you like to go in the county when you have any spare time?

I like to go fishing for mackerel out at sea with my sons. On a lucky day we catch lots and take them home to cook. On an unlucky day we buy fish and chips.

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