Sunday, May 14, 2006

Friendly Cardiff .VS. Big Old Nasty London

I've just read this short interview from the latest member of the Innuendo Squad, Ianto, aka Mister Gareth David-Lloyd. (Thanks to our friends at The Institute for this lead). You can hear what he has to say below (and if Gareth's reading, congratulations on the casting young man!) :

He learned his acting craft in Gwent but now Gareth David-Lloyd’s talents are going intergalactic.

Gareth, 25, from Bettws, has landed the role of a lifetime a major part in the new Dr Who spin-off series Torchwood.

He is to play Ianto, the receptionist at the Cardiff branch of Torchwood a government agency searching for alien technology which has fallen to Earth.

He will be filming for six months on the show, which is set in modern-day Cardiff. This is the first major role for the Newport actor, who went to Bettws Comprehensive and Coleg Gwent, Cross Keys.

“I’m really excited,” he said. “This is going to be different to anything else I’ve done before.”

It was at Monnow Junior School in Bettws that Gareth had his first acting role playing a robot in the school play. He then had acting lessons at Risca Leisure Centre before joining the Dolman Youth Theatre and Gwent Young People’s Theatre, where Argus reviewers marked him out as a star of the future.

He moved to London to pursue his career three years ago, with roles in Absolute Power, with Stephen Fry, and a BBC2 documentary drama on the life of Beethoven.

But Gareth is pleased his new role will be based in Cardiff, “I can’t wait to move back to South Wales, people are just much friendlier,” he said. “London was getting a bit fast for me.”

He was encouraged in acting by his aunt, 80-year-old Doris Leaves, with whom he lived on Allt-yr-yn Crescent from the age of nine.

Mrs Leaves said: “He got out of breath when he played football so I told him he needed a hobby. It has all sprung from there really.”

Former Labour leader Neil Kinnock, now Lord Kinnock, became a fan after seeing Gareth performing at Monmouth Castle. When Gareth decided to pursue a career in acting Lord Kinnock sent £250 to help him on his way.

Filming started on Torchwood last month and Gareth will be on set from May 24. His character will be introduced with a small part in the first episode, before featuring in all 13-parts of the drama series.

Gareth says there will be plenty of surprises for Doctor Who fans in the series, “I can’t say too much but the scripts look really good. I can’t wait to get started.”

In other news, last night's Doctor Who episode over here in the UK, "Rise of the Cybermen" featured two short Torchwood references made at the expense of the Cybus Corporation. One reference saw a news item on Rose's mobile phone talk about the latest Torchwood Institute happenings, whilst another saw returning face Pete Tyler talk to "Stevie"; an old friend of his, who seemingly works at Torchwood.

The fact that this episode - and next week's too - takes place on a parallel world may dampen the relevence of these references to the over-all story arc. But we'll see. It seems Torchwood is building momentum rather rapidly now.

Torchwood's coming folks. Brace yourselves.
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