Belfast Telegraph

Belfast boy Branagh recalls role his parents played keeping him grounded in his early days as an actor

By Staff Reporter

Ulster theatrical knight Sir Kenneth Branagh has opened up about his Belfast childhood, revealing how his parents Frances and William worked hard to stop him becoming big-headed - despite his burgeoning dramatic talent.

"My parents drummed it into me not to get above myself, though that's the sin I've been accused of throughout my career," he told the Daily Telegraph newspaper yesterday. "I've had plenty of kickings, I will have plenty more - but if you're going through hell, the best thing is to keep going."

Former Grove Primary school pupil Sir Kenneth (56) left north Belfast at the age of nine when his family moved to Reading.

He later studied at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) before beginning his rise to fame, which began with his long-remembered role in Graham Reid's 'Billy' plays, which caused a sensation when they were first broadcast in the early 1980s.

The actor was knighted in 2012 for services to drama, and to the community in Northern Ireland.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last year, Sir Kenneth said his first taste of what became his life's passion came at the old Grove Theatre on the Shore Road.

Earlier this week it was revealed that Sir Kenneth is to be made a Freeman of the City of Belfast.

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