JOHN SAVIDENT: (our Fred Elliott, I say, our Frederick Handel Elliott)
Born: January 21, 1938 in Guernsey, Channel Islands
“My parentage is Swiss and from Guernsey. I’m not English at all,” reveals John who was a Manchester policeman for six years before becoming an actor.
John appeared in a number of top TV Shows like Yes Minister, The Avengers, The Saint, and countless films such as A Clockwork Orange and Gandhi.
In 1994, John was offered a part in Corrie.
“I thought, why not? And I had some old friends in the cast. I'd done a play with Tracy Brabin (Tricia Armstrong) and we'd been good friends since. Barbara Knox (Rita Sullivan) I've known for about 40 years. And I was at school with Amanda Barrie (Alma Baldwin).”
“I was asked to star in Coronation Street so I researched the part of Fred and the first time he appeared was five episodes; it was a saga about a black pudding competition so I did research on that and got help from my friend. I think it’s important to know my part and be convincing to butchers and general public as they are the real people, I don’t see myself a celeb, I see myself as an actor.”
“My character is what I created, all things like the repetition and the odd words you know are my creation not the writers.”
“Years ago I met an old actor who'd spent all his life in rep, who used to say that you should always give the audience a hook, perhaps a limp or a stutter, something to wait for. When I started playing Fred that old boy popped into my mind, and I got the idea of the repetition from the rooster in the old cartoon, Foghorn Leghorn.”
Separated at birth?
(image via rikaitch.plus.com)
“Then I remembered an elderly man, I think his name was Mr Garside, who lived in my street when I was a boy. Mr Garside didn't like kids. And when we walked past his garden he would yell, "Geddoff them roses, I say GEDDOFF THEM ROSES!"'
A spot of trivia: John Savident revealed that he told the teenage Prince William to "wash his mouth out" after learning that William watched rival soap EastEnders.