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Christopher Eccleston "What's very interesting about New York is that people say it's very impolite. I was asking for directions and everybody was really nice. It made me quite ashamed really because in Manchester, you would get that level of politeness, but in London they'd ignore you!" - Christopher Eccleston
Salford Born actor, Christopher Eccleston comes from a working-class background, the youngest, by 8 years, of three brothers. One of his brothers is a builder whilst the other is a furniture maker and upholsterer, both now working in TV & Film (Alan has worked on Cold Feet ). Chris doesn't share their manual dexterity but has always been keen on sport, including playing football and long-distance running. Academically he wasn't so keen, leaving school without qualifications despite re-sitting his exams, but it was his English teacher, Mrs Sorah, who influenced his direction into the dramatic arts.
After graduating from London's Central School of Speech and Drama in 1986, he made his stage debut at the Bristol Old Vic, followed by work at the National, Royal Court and Bush theatres. Meaningful work was hard to come by for about three years but he then made his film debut in the true story Let Him Have It . This film was about Derek Bentley, a mentally retarded 19-year old epileptic, who was hanged for supposedly inciting his accomplice to kill a policeman in 1952. The execution was seen as a miscarriage of justice for many years and the film, coupled with other campaigns, led to the Court of Appeal, in 1998, finally pardoning Bentley, posthumously. (Christopher was an invited guest at a Memorial service at Southwark Cathedral).
Chris was raised on what he describes as 'the Golden Age of British TV" when there was a lot of great dramas and comedies being produced. Consequently he has always enjoyed working in TV and whilst he prefers gritty working class roles to "pissing about doing Noel Coward" he is anxious to avoid being type-cast. He cites Alan Bleasdale, Ken Loach and Siegfried Sassoon amongst his influences and would like to work with Martin Scorsese and John Sayles. He greatly admired the late John Cassavetes. Pride Of Manchester's list of TV and Film Credits includes a lot of classy work but stand-outs in terms of his career progression must be his role as Detective Chief Inspector Bilborough in Cracker, as the title role in Jude, and as David in Shallow Grave .
He was honored with two Press Guild Awards for Best Actor for his performance on Hillsborough for Granada TV and the BBC’s Our Friends in the North. The latter also garnered him a BAFTA Best Actor nomination. Other British television work includes; Friday on My Mind, Death and the Compass, Humboldt and Clocking Off for the BBC; Poirot, Inspector Morse and Chancer for Central Television and Hearts and Minds, Bellman, Box and Vandal and Killing for Channel 4. As well as the ITV drama, 'The Second Coming'.
He is quite selective about the parts he takes and even as recently as 1998 spent the best part of nine months without work, having moved back from London to his native Eccles in 1996 after ending a relationship. One role he did turn down was that of Begbie in Trainspotting (1996), eventually played by Robert Carlyle.
Away from work he is a keen Manchester United supporter and once played alongside United legend Eric Cantona (not on the pitch but in the movie Elizabeth !) Chris has made a strong mark already and interest in him is so strong that his future must be assured. He has starred alongside Cameron Diaz in 'Invisible Circus', shares the billing with Nicole Kidman in 'The Others' and played a homeless person in the highly acclaimed '24 Hour Party People'.
He was then filming with Johnny Depp, Vanessa Paradis, Miranda Richardson and Bill Paterson in Terry Gilliam's " The Man Who Killed Don Quixote " Terry Gilliam's £32 million film about Don Quixote, starring Johnny Depp, fell apart after illness, finance problems and floods. Infact it was a total disaster. However a film documentary called 'Lost in La Mancha' was later released. It recorded how it all fell apart whilst making the movie.
28 Days later would be a hit for Eccleston. In this film from director Danny Boyle and writer Alex Garland, a powerful virus is unleashed on the British public following a raid on a primate research facility by animal rights activists. Transmitted in a drop of blood and devastating within seconds, the virus locks those infected into a permanent state of murderous rage. Within 28 days the country is overwhelmed and a handful of survivors begin their attempts to salvage a future, little realising that the deadly virus is not the only thing that threatens them.

His latest guise is that of the Time Lord, Doctor Who, with the first series being shown from March 2005 on the BBC1 on Saturday nights (and repeated on BBC3 on Sunday evenings). Written and produced by 'Queer as Folk' creator Russell T Davies, the new casting will see a new gritty more on the edge Doctor and perhaps bring the cult sci fi icon to a wider audience. Eccleston has added his Manchester voice and style to the famous character, making him stand out from the previous eight actors who have played Dr Who before.

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Own Cracker on DVD
buy The Second Coming on dvd
buy Our Friends In The North on DVD
Invisible Circus on DVD
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