Saturday, January 21, 2006

Happy Birthday, Fred, I Say Happy Birthday, Fred

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

“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.


Lori said...

Thanks for that interview info. I love to hear about the personal tidbits,, makes the actors so much more fun to watch. If he is Foghorn LegHorn,, does that make Ashley Egghead Jr?

John said...

I think Ashley is the chicken hawk.

"There's something, I say, there's something kind of eeehhhh about a boy that don't like baseball."