This much I know: Tony Audenshaw, actor

Becoming an actor took me by surprise.

I wrote some sketches and couldn’t get anybody to be in them, so I had to perform them myself. That’s how it began.

I did consider other careers....I wanted to work at a nature reserve for years, but my science marks weren’t too good. In retrospect, I think I would have been great in advertising.

My dad was in amateur shows for years. I remember taking a call, which was meant for him. They were looking for dancers for Hello Dolly, and I ended up doing it myself.

I enjoy my job on Emmerdale. I’m working with quirky, creative people, for a company that looks after its employees, the money is great, I get busy times where it’s all-consuming and stimulating, contrasted with quiet times, where I can indulge my hobbies. I very much ‘act for a living’, rather than ‘live for acting’, though.

I was a pretty quiet child, really. I came into my own in the sixth form, when I realised that being myself was much better than trying, and failing, to be everybody else.

My earliest memory of being on-stage is the Marple Scouts Gang Show — great fun. I sang songs and then acted in a sketch ‘wot I wrote’ called ‘Cheese and Onion’, where the punch line was “She’s a nun, Ian”.

I have learnt not to spread myself about too thinly. I have got much better at saying ‘no’ to things. I usually do admin in my dinner hour. I am pretty good at time-management. I was inspired by the quote: “Even when Ted Heath was prime minister, he still found time for sailing”.

I am very disciplined at work. In other areas of my life, I can be disciplined if I have to be.

I don’t have a great diet, most of the time, and I procrastinate over my Spanish homework and tidying up.

The best advice I ever received was not to be afraid of failure.

The trait I most admire in other people is the ability to make effortless conversation.

My main fault is prioritising projects over spending time with friends.

My idea of happiness is post-exercise, sat in the sun with my family, eating nibbles, watching passing birds.

My idea of misery is going to balls, posh social occasions, glitz and glamour, corporate music, talk about schools, house prices or anything to do with cars.

I started running and training for marathons because I was a big fat lad and I wanted to lose weight. Running worked for me and I became obsessive about it, as I pursued faster and faster times.

I am out the other side of all that now, but I still enjoy running for leisure and the odd race, mostly up on the fells around Derbyshire, where I live. I will be running the London marathon in fancy dress, for leukemia and lymphoma research.

I gig a few times a year with my band, White Van Man. We will be playing at The Great North Run, in September, both at the expo and after the race. I recorded a song, which will make sense to anybody who has ever run a marathon.

If I could be reborn as someone else for a day, I’d be one of the great songwriters, Lennon and McCartney, maybe, or Carole King, or Hoagy Carmichael. I’d like to experience what it is like to conjure up a truly great song.

If I could change one thing in our society, I would enforce an extra public holiday on your birthday.

I’m a lark. The night-time is for sleeping.

I hope it’s a while before I find out if there is any life after death. However, taking into account over 50m people die every year and there hasn’t yet been a proven example of one of them being in contact, I think the odds are stacked on there not being life after death.

I believe in belief, though. It is an incredibly powerful force and I think people get great comfort and hope from it.

The biggest challenge in life, so far, has been simply staying alive. It is a daily task, when you have a long commute.

My biggest fear is chimps on horseback carrying knives. It is a recurring nightmare.

So far, life has taught me to do stuff. Don’t be bothered what people think about you. Live your life, not somebody else’s. Avoid committees, where possible. Those who talk loudest don’t necessarily have the best ideas. Nature is amazing. Look after your family. Don’t be mean.

Tony Audenshaw, who plays Bob Hope on Emmerdale, just launched The SPAR Great Ireland Run, 2015, which takes place on Saturday, April 11, in the Phoenix Park, Dublin.

Join thousands of other runners, and their families, in what is a highlight of the athletics calendar and a great family day out. The course challenges runners of all abilities and ambitions, from the 10k race, to the SPAR Junior and Mini Great Ireland Run for 3-15-year-olds.

To further incentivise elite Irish athletes, and raise the standard of 10k running in the country, a prize fund is being put in place for the first ten Irish men and women in that event.

Entries for all events are available at Follow Great Ireland Run on: @GreatIrelandRun or like: 



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