For all you Emmerdale fans out there, it’s time to brace yourselves, because things are about to get weird…
The Emmerdale cast is quite the mixed bag, and I think the same can be said for most British soaps, as actors come from different backgrounds, having taken different routes to get to where they are, and it’s only naturally that that is the case.
However, that’s all well and good to say, but no cast member of Emmerdale has got a more sketchy career choices lurking in their past than mainstay Chris Chittell, who plays Emmerdale’s cornerstone Eric Pollard.
Just like there is a number of generations now that couldn’t remember a Manchester United without Alex Ferguson at the helm, or a time when Coronation Street wasn’t on ITV, few today can remember a time in Emmerdale’s history before Eric Pollard was a part of it, when he joined in 1986 as the wheeler dealer turned bed and breakfast king.
Known for his romances with a string of ladies, including soap favourite Val (Charlie Hardwick) and more recently Faith Dingle (Sally Dexter), it seems as though Chris Chittell is well versed in the art of Casanova’ing, and his past career choices only prove that!
Because long before he got his big break on one of telly’s most beloved soaps, the 69 year old tried his hand at a slightly different route to get his acting career off the ground – starring in a series of Swedish adult films.
Yes, that’s right. Swedish adult films.
I’ll repeat that.
Swedish adult films…And he reveals the lot!
Sir David Jason admits he was in a naughty movie too – scroll down to read the story
His list of credits include the bluntly titled Let Us Play S** (which, I’ll be honest, made me laugh for about four hours when I first read the title), and Practise Makes Perfect, which is also the subtle, nuanced, understated art house film known as…Girl On Her Knees.
But Pollard’s past career cheeky films secret isn’t something the actor is afraid to talk about or something that he tries to keep hidden. In fact, it’s rather the opposite, as he gave an insight into his “colourful”, shall we say, acting career in an interview back in 1997.
Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, he revealed: “I did films like Let Us Play S** and a few more when I was on my uppers, after running up terrible bills and seeing various ventures fail.
“One was an antiques business. Another was a Jewish-Italian restaurant in Hatton Garden, London.
“I took them to pay off some heavy-duty people and clear the bills.”
But Chris’ daring venture into soft adult film industry lead the actor fearing he may never work in the UK.
“I always thought I was going to be fired, even after years in Emmerdale,” he explained.
“I thought I would never work in England again because of the content of those films.
“Thank God I’ve been on the up ever since.”
On the up, you say? I wish I had one of those Carry On whistles.
Sir David Jason stayed in some rather cheeky movies too…
But Chris Chittell isn’t the only old school actor that has made one or two dodgy decisions in the early days of his career. Even Sir David Jason has had to delve into the world of vintage (well I suppose it wasn’t then) sex films in order to get a foot on the ladder and pay the bills.
Writing in the Daily Mail, Sir David said that even he had appearances in some rather naughty films, but thankfully, he wasn’t in the rudest bits!
He wrote: “One of my biggest breaks was being given an opportunity to star in my first
film. That in itself was tremendously exciting — opening an envelope and pulling out
a screenplay rather than just a play or script. It was called Albert’s Follies and I settled down to read it in a state of pink-cheeked glee.
Other news: “Nicholas Lyndhurst’s actor son is now the same height as him!” – see below
“It seemed to be a fairly innocent farce, with me playing Albert Toddey, a meek
civil servant. The screenplay was by David McGillivray. He went on to write a lot of scripts for the British adult film industry. Perhaps you’ve seen his I’m Not Feeling Myself Tonight from 1975, or 1974’s The Hot Girls?
“Or maybe you’ve seen the script for his, sadly unmade, 1976 piece Unzipper Dee
Doo Dah? Whatever, all that was in the future for him — and unknowable for me in 1973. I told my agent I was up for it. They certainly weren’t on a blockbuster budget.”
He continued: “I was starring with Imogen Hassall, an actress known as the Countess of
Cleavage, although she was smarter and more sensitive than her reputation. Filming went from bad to worse, but the crisis point came in the final week when Imogen and I were required in a scene which involved us walking down a passage together.
“For some reason, within the plot, I had lost my trousers and was in boxer
shorts printed with a Union Jack (you’ll get some measure of the film’s
farcical humour here).
“We completed our duties, then we heard the director say, “Cut! OK, that’s
good. Now we’ll go again with the second cast.”
“What did he mean, “second cast”?
“Then, as Imogen and I stared open-mouthed, on trooped eight girls in tiny,
ragged bikinis, all of them tied by their wrists to a length of rope, one
end of which was in the thick-fingered grip of a large, muscle-bound man.
“It was revealed to us that Albert’s Follies was now a film called White Cargo.
“A whole subplot had been grafted on to the script — a story about selling
strippers into slavery.”
Good lord, how times have changed.
Sir David also said: “At some point during the filming, the order had come through from the producers to switch from a U certificate to an X, in the panicked hope, presumably, that this would give it life in the adult cinemas.
“Worse than that, I was making an adult film without even knowing it.
“Even worse than that, I was making an adult film without being in any of
the soft bits.”
Ha! you rascal, Sir David!
I guess it just goes to show that no matter who you are, what you’ve done, or how much you are loved by the public, everybody of that age has had a long career, and quite frankly, it would be more weird if a lot of them didn’t have their very own White Cargo or Let Us Play S** in there somewhere!
Nicholas Lyndhurst’s son Archie has already starred in eight TV programmes
Nicholas Lyndhurst may be one of the most famous faces in Britain but his son, Archie, is just starting out in the business that made his father one of the most loved actors in British comedy.
Initially, however, dad Nicholas was reluctant to let his son follow in his footsteps. According to the Guardian, Nicholas gave his then 14 year old son some advice about getting into show business, urging him that he should not get into the business if all he wants to achieve is fame.
The Only Fools and Horses star said: ”When Archie said he wanted to be an actor, I said: ‘I can’t offer any advice other than please don’t do it.’ He said: ‘Daddy, I just want to entertain people.’ I told Lucy: ‘If I ever hear him say the f-word – ‘famous’ – the deal’s off.’ He never has.”
However, Archie has since starting working on a kids TV comedy and the veteran sitcom star is shocked at how great his son is on screen.
He said: ”He’s filming his second series for CBBC, ‘So Awkward’. I wish I’d been as good as him at his age.”
And since seeing Archie’s achievements, Nicholas has been able to take a step back as he can see the teenager is capable of making his own decisions.
He added to The Guardian newspaper: ”I became a different person overnight when I had my son – terrified. You could call me a helicopter parent, but now Archie’s 14, I’m learning to back off.”
But now Archie is on the verge of turning 18, and has carved himself out a promising career after appearing on Bad Education as Young Alfie in 2014, and a couple of voice over roles in video games such as The Secret World: Issue 10 – Nightmares in the Dream Palace and Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward.
In 2016, he appeared in the pilot of the TV series Our Ex Wife and from 2015 to 2017 he appeared in the show that found him the most fame: CBBC’s So Awkward.
He currently has a couple of projects in filming as well as post production – he is currently working as the editor on the short Memory Slip and as an actor in another short The Infectious Imagination of Henry Bramble, which is currently in post production.