James Nesbitt on tractor racing, Man United – and his secret passion for newsreaders

The Missing star and Bafta nominee for Best Actor reveals his TV crush and explains why the silver screen has always had a special place in his heart

How much TV do you watch?

I have been watching Match of the Day religiously for the past 45 years. Beyond that I binge on other stuff — Cheers, House of Cards…


How many screens do you have at home?

A TV in the living room for my two girls, a sports one in the back room for me, and my eldest daughter has one in her room. I also watch sport on my phone — mostly Manchester United matches, but I’d watch tractor racing if it was on!

What did you watch as a child?

Anything! I come from a generation in Northern Ireland where you couldn’t watch TV on a Sunday — it was a religious thing. So I thought watching TV was special — I loved it! I remember being nine years old when we got a colour TV and just staring because I couldn’t believe it. I feel sorry for my kids because they’ve lost that wonder.

First TV crush?

Sue Lawley. I’ve always had a thing about newsreaders.

Audience award favourite?

Sheridan Smith was sensational in Cilla but I’d rather we won! 


Who should win Best Actor at the TV Baftas 2015?

See the Baftas this Sunday from 8:00pm on BBC1