Belfast Telegraph

All the best: Actor Charlie Lawson on his favourite things

By Kerry McKittrick

Charlie Lawson (59) is an actor, best known for his role as Jim McDonald in Coronation Street. Originally from Enniskillen he now lives in Prestbury, Cheshire with his partner Debbie Stanley where they run a farm shop.

My best moment

Being told I had been accepted into the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London after a three-day audition - it was life changing. I could have ended up anywhere as prior to that I was working as a hotel groundsman in Scotland and kept getting into trouble.

My best song

Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel's Make Me Smile - it just makes me smile every time that I hear it.

My best way to relax

Game shooting - mostly pheasant and duck. I've hunted since I was about eight-years-old as my dad was one of the top shots in Ireland. We hunt deer all year round but game shooting is from September to January.

My best job

Playing Mark in Rent at the Wyndham Theatre, London - the production ran for about three months. I do a lot of theatre and have acted with the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the English Shakespeare Company and have an Olivier Award.

My best advice

Above all else, to thine own self be true, by William Shakespeare in Hamlet. It's become my mantra, although it's got me into trouble over the years and cost me several jobs.

My best gift

Getting a racehorse was pretty special. Debbie bought me one called Master Ted. He wasn't very good bless him so he's joined the Belvedere Hunt and he's very happy there. It was a hell of a gift, though.

My best movie

Anything with James Stewart in it, but I'll go for Mr Smith Goes To Washington. While I'm a film buff I prefer watching DVDs in the comfort of my own home to going to the cinema. I tend to get tortured (by people who recognise me) if I go to the cinema.

My best achievement

Riding in a mile and a half flat race at Wighampton in 2001 thanks to Channel Four Racing. I had to lose two-and-a-half stone in about three-and-a-half weeks before hand which I did by not eating and riding every morning on an empty stomach. It nearly killed me as it's very bad for you, so I wouldn't recommend it.

My best buy

A luxury first class holiday to the Maldives with Debbie. I had just earned a lot of money on a job and decided to splash out. It was three weeks of pure heaven.

My best book

Everyone back home will understand this one - Lost Lives by David McKittrick, Seamus Kelters, Brian Feeney and Chris Thornton - it's more of a document than a book and it chronicles all of the lives lost during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. It's a book which is important to the peace process and to every human being who lived through those times. I always recommend it to English people to help them understand what went on. If you're in any way interested in modern history it's a must for your bookshelf.

  • Charlie will be hosting Radio Lapland, which will begin on December 1 until December 26 and can be heard on 103.2FM and online, to raise funds for the Northern Ireland Hospice. For more information go to

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