Two stars from Poldark past and present met recently – thanks to the ministrations of a former Time Lord.
Yes, Osborne Whitworth met Osborne Whitworth, or at least the two stars who played the repulsive cleric, one in the 1970s (Christopher Biggins) and the other (Christian Brassington) in the modern version. And of course it happened at the theatre.
“This is going to sound awfully sort of name-droppy, but I met him fairly recently with David Tennant,” Brassington tells RadioTimes.com. “We went to see the play Queen Anne. Anyway, Christopher Biggins walks past us and goes a couple of rows in front. So, you know, David sort of nudges me.
“It was like a slight role-reversal. David’s obviously always asked for photos from everybody. But at the interval, he chased after Biggins and said, ‘You must take a photo with my friend. He’s playing, you know, your character.’ So I met him! We had a photograph taken and we had a chat. He was very funny. Yeah, lovely guy.
“We didn’t talk about much obviously. He told me that the paper had rung him up and he had said nice things about me. He’s very kind. I feel like there’s some sort of ownership over those parts, especially with an iconic part like the one we play. But he was very gracious about that. And then he told a very funny story. He stopped and he kind of held on to my forearm and said, ‘I understand you had to put weight on for the role’. And I said, ‘Yeah, I did. Quite a lot.’ He said, ‘I didn’t have to put any weight on.’ And then he roared with laughter and went into the night. It was wonderful. Just exactly what you would imagine. Delightful.”
Biggins was, of course, referring to a RadioTimes.com interview last year in which Brassington revealed that he had to eat 3,500 calories a day to reach the correct body weight to play the rotund character.
This series he had to eat even more – 4,000 calories – but the production team, mindful of the health implications, offered up the service of a nutritionist and a personal trainer.
“The trainer got me doing big weights so I have done it much more healthily this time, but it was much harder putting it on in a healthy way,” he now says.
“When you see series four of Poldark you will see that I am as far away from a professional athlete as anyone could be but I have got a new-found admiration for people who have to eat that amount of food every day; it is really difficult.”
What people do for their craft, eh?
Poldark series 4 is on Sunday nights on BBC1