Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 24 May 2016

James Nesbitt's entertainment firm cashes in with £2.59m profits

By Gordon Deegan

Published 05/01/2016

Jimmy Nesbitt in The Missing
Jimmy Nesbitt in The Missing
Jimmy Nesbitt in Babylon

James Nesbitt's time spent in the fantasy world of JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit has paid rich dividends with profits at his entertainment firm last year topping £2.59m.

The Coleraine actor is best known for his award-winning role in the television drama Bloody Sunday, as well as BBC's hit primetime drama of last year, The Missing.

And he has gained worldwide recognition for his role playing a dwarf in The Hobbit series of films.

The third of the trilogy, The Battle Of The Five Arms, was released worldwide in cinemas in December 2014.

Nesbitt's time playing the dwarf Bofur involved him spending a total of two years in New Zealand for The Hobbit series undertaking what he called the "brutal" journey to New Zealand 12 times.

However, all the effort seems to have been financially worth it as new accounts lodged with the UK-based Companies House by Nesbitt's Brown Cow Films Ltd show that accumulated profits at the firm increased by £119,470 from £2.48m to £2.59m in the 12 months to the end of March 31, 2015.

The figures show that the firm's cash pile more than doubled going from £353,291 to £825,921.

However, the long time spent in New Zealand was blamed for the break-up of Nesbitt's marriage to wife Sonia, with whom he has two daughters.

Last week Nesbitt was awarded an OBE in the New Year's list for services to Northern Ireland and to acting. He is a patron of the Wave Trauma Centre, which supports people bereaved, injured or traumatised during the Troubles.

The Ballymena-born actor said receiving an OBE will "give credence" to the cause of those left searching for loved ones following the Troubles.

He said: "I've been very blessed with my work and very blessed to come from Northern Ireland, and for those two things to be on the citation was really rather gratifying."

The 50-year-old shot to fame in popular TV drama Cold Feet in 1997.

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